5 tips for sharing the road with large trucks

Auto accidents that involve 18-wheelers and other large trucks tend to be the most catastrophic. There is a very serious risk of death, and for those lucky enough to survive, long-term health problems are likely.

We all exercise some degree of caution when we take to the streets, however most people tend to forget that safety rules aren’t a one-size-fits-all deal. Different rules apply for different vehicles, and this includes 18-wheelers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 95,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks in 2013.

Below are 5 things to remember when sharing the road with large trucks.

Avoid Blindspots

Blind spots for 18-wheelers are located at the rear of the vehicle and along both sides of both the cab and cargo area. The largest blind spot is along the ride side of the vehicle. One-third of fatal crashes between cars and large trucks occur in blind spots.

Pass With Caution

Keep in mind that while you are passing an 18-wheeler, you are placing yourself directly in its blind spot. Don’t hesitate when passing. If you are trying to re-enter the lane in front of the truck, a good rule of thumb is to wait until you can see the entire cab in your rear view mirror before pulling into the lane. This ensure that there is enough distance between the back of your vehicle and the truck in order for the truck to have enough time to brake. Remember, it takes roughly 3 times longer for a tractor trailer to stop than your car.

Signal Sooner

Trucks require more time and more distance to slow down and stop. It is important to signal early when changing lanes, stopping, or turning when sharing the road with a semi truck. Signal at least 3 seconds before you make your move to allow the driver of the truck enough time to react.

Allow For Space

You’ve seen the stickers plastered over every large vehicle: Caution – Wide right turns. In order to navigate their loads around a right hand turn, a semi truck must swing to the left before it goes right. This creates a space to the right of the cab between the truck and the curb. Don’t rush into this space to make your own turn, you risk being hit.

Anticipate Mishaps

It only takes a split second for an accident to occur. Always be prepared to react quickly, appropriately, and most importantly, safely. Tire blowouts are common occurrences for large trucks on highways. Shredded tire tread is extremely dangerous as it leaves the wheel of a large truck, and the loud noise it makes can be scary to drivers. Always be aware of your surroundings.

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help You

If you, or someone you love, have been injured or killed in an 18-wheeler accident, don’t let another moment pass without an experienced advocate on your side to protect your rights and fight for your recovery. Contact us for a free consultation with a Texas truck accident lawyer— we serve accident victims of a fatal truck accident and their families statewide, nationwide and abroad. With 11 offices throughout Texas in Killeen, Temple, Waco, and other cities, we are prepared to provide you with 24/7 support.

No appointment is required during normal business hours, and bilingual staff members are available to assist our Spanish-speaking clients. Se habla español.

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