For many drivers, the moment that they find themselves driving near a semi-truck, they instantly feel a bit more apprehensive. It’s easy to see why. While an accident involving any vehicle can have catastrophic ramifications, that feels a bit more apparent when the truck in question is 10 feet higher and 75,000 pounds heavier than the car that you’re in.
You can’t always avoid sharing the road with large trucks, though, so your focus needs to be on safe driving tactics. Here’s what you can do to reduce the accident risks:
- Always think about the blind spots and try to stay out of them. One of the most dangerous blind spots is on the side of the truck, near the back. Never linger there.
- Limit your exposure to excess danger by passing trucks quickly. When passing a truck, while you don’t want to break the speed limit, you want to make the pass as rapidly as legally possible. This reduces the time that you may accidentally be in the blind spot.
- Limit your exposure to risk by staying around smaller vehicles as much as you can. Don’t drive between two trucks if you can help it, for instance, and pass them safely instead of driving in the blind spot directly behind the truck.
- Remember that trucks drive differently than cars. They make wider turns. They take longer to stop. They take longer to speed up. They can jackknife and lose control. When you think about how they are different, you can avoid potential hazards.
Even if you take these steps and stay as safe as possible, you could get involved in an accident. It just takes one mistake, one error or one oversight by the driver. That accident could leave you with life-changing injuries and high medical bills. Be sure you know exactly what legal rights you may have to financial compensation.