When commercial trucks share the roadways with passenger vehicles, tractor trailer accidents can happen. When they do, truck accident attorneys know that people can be injured severely or even fatally. To avoid being involved in tractor trailer crashes, observe the important tips below and stay safe on the highways.
1. Avoid Traveling in Truck Blind Spots
Known as the “No Zone,” every tractor trailer has four significant blind spots around the vehicle where the driver cannot see smaller vehicles traveling around them. Truck accident attorneys stress the importance of learning where they are and staying out of those areas.
2. Avoid Following Too Close
One of the blind spots behind large trucks is directly behind it. If you follow too closely, not only do you risk driving in a No Zone, but you could end up in a very dangerous situation that often results in tractor trailer accidents. If the truck stops suddenly or you are rear-ended by someone else, your vehicle be crushed under the back of the truck.
3. Pass Tractor Trailers Carefully
Passing is another concern that leads to tractor trailer crashes. When passing a large truck, always signal well in advance, note all blind spots, then pass on the left as quickly as possible. Avoid lingering in the blind spot; complete the pass in one effort once you have enough room to do so.
4. Do Not Cut Trucks Off
Whether you are passing or simply changing lanes, never cut right in front of a big rig or you run the risk of being rear-ended. Always proceed far enough ahead of a truck to stay out of their front blind spot. Be sure to give trucks enough stopping room to avoid hitting you. Large, heavy vehicles require a distance that is almost twice as long as that needed by passenger vehicles to stop.
5. Watch for Wide Turns
Tractor trailers make very wide turns. To avoid involvement in a turning tractor trailer accident, you must anticipate such a turn when pulling alongside a big truck at intersections or stopping on adjacent corners. Always observe the intersection markers and stop far enough back to prevent being hit. In addition, never try to squeeze next to a tractor trailer making a right turn. Stay back and give the driver plenty of room.
6. Wear Your Seat Belt
Your seat belt is one of the most important safety components in your vehicle. Reduce the chance of being seriously injured in any type of accident by always buckling up.
7. Focus On the Road
Distracted driving is a factor in many tractor trailer crashes. Avoid doing anything that takes your eyes and attention off the road. This will reduce the possibility that you will be involved in any type of accident. Should you encounter another driver who is distracted, stay safe and away from them.
8. Never Drive While Fatigued
Fatigue is a major concern for those who drive big rigs. Truck accident attorneys are well aware that these big rig operators face stiff penalties if they do not get enough rest. Yet fatigue can affect a passenger vehicle driver in the same way. If you become fatigued, take a tip from the best truck drivers out there and pull over for a while to rest or let someone else drive for a while.
9. Never Drive Under the Influence
Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, and even some prescription medications impairs your motor skills as well as your ability to make decisions. Never drive if you have been drinking or have taken any drug or medication that can alter your reaction time and awareness. You are much more likely to be involved in an accident with other vehicles including tractor trailers when your mental state is altered.
10. Calm Down and Be Patient
Big rigs are much more difficult to drive than a passenger vehicle. They also have many more maneuvering restrictions, such as slower acceleration, a wider turn radius, large blind spots, and longer braking distances. On some roads, they are also speed limited. It is imperative you understand this and avoid dangerous, aggressive maneuvers or honking.
Tractor trailer accidents occur for many reasons. While some may be caused by truck driver error and other truck-related issues, those who drive on the same path as big rigs can also be the cause of tractor trailer crashes. Stay safe and avoid the need to hire truck accident attorneys by doing your part to prevent these potentially deadly accidents!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190