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Safety Tips For Driving Around Semi-Trucks

Semi-truck accidents can lead to very serious injury and even death. With an average minimum weight of 80,000 pounds, semi-trucks can easily crush a passenger vehicle during an accident. In Florida alone, there are an average of 3,500 accidents a year, nearly 200 of which are fatal. However, in 72% of all semi-truck accidents with a passenger vehicle, the accident was the fault of passenger vehicle driver. So it is crucial that when you are driving near a semi-truck you exercise safety driving. Here are some basic safety tips for driving near semi-trucks:

Understand The Challenges Of Driving A Semi-Truck

Semi-trucks are incredibly heavy, so it creates many challenges for truck drivers. The weight of the vehicle and the cargo make speeding up and slowly down much more difficult than with a passenger vehicle. The distribution of weight also makes it difficult for trucks to move up and down hills easily. Further, many trucks have speed limiters which means they may not be able to match the pace of traffic. Finally, semi-trucks are very likely to tip over, especially in windy conditions. If you understand some of the challenges truck drivers face, you can learn how to drive around them safely.

Give Truckers A Lot Of Space On The Road

Most accidents with semi-trucks happen because the passenger vehicle driver does not give the semi adequate space on the road. Trucks are incredibly large vehicles, so they need more space than passenger vehicles. Truckers need extra space for:

  • Tire Blowouts: Tires blow routinely on trucks because they bear a heavy load. It is why they have 18 wheels. When a tire blows out, the truck will usually swerve. If you give a trucker adequate space, not only will your vehicle not be hit by the debris but the truck will not swerve into you.

  • Wide Turns: Trucks need to take extra wide turns to navigate intersections. Most intersection accidents happen when a trucker is making a right turn and a driver does not give them enough space, leading to a side impact collision.

  • Blindspots: Truckers have blind spots on every side of their vehicle, so it is extremely difficult for them to know where other drivers are located. So when approaching a semi-truck, either pass them quickly or give them a decent amount of space from behind. Most of the time, blindspots lead to collision during lane changes.

  • Braking: Truckers cannot simply stomp on their brakes quickly. If they do they can jackknife from the weight of their cargo. So never put a trucker in a position where they have to brake quickly like cutting them off or pulling out in front of them. Forcing a truck to stop too quickly can lead to a rear end collision, a pile up, or side impact collision with another vehicle.

Always Drive Defensively

Finally, whenever you are driving, regardless if you are by a semi-truck or not, you should always drive defensively. Never drive distracted, predict what other drivers are going to do, and make sure to always communicate your intentions. If you are driving near a semi-truck make sure they always see you. If you follow these semi-truck safety tips and always drive defensively, you can avoid a devastating accident with a semi-truck.

Unfortunately, even the best drivers sometimes end up in accidents with semi-trucks. Semi-truck insurance is very complicated because there are often multiple carriers. So it can be hard to handle the claims process. If you have been in an accident with a semi-truck, you should absolutely hire a personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney, like the professionals at All Injuries Law Firm can help you navigate the claims process, negotiate a fair settlement, and help you get compensation for any injuries or property damage. So call us today for a free consultation to find out how we can help you!