It’s perfectly normal to be nervous when driving around semi-trucks. Their immense weight and large size means they have to drive a little differently to stay safe. This often means they travel much slower and may block up a chunk of the road in certain sections. Learning to share the road with trucks is an important part of driving, and the first step is to understand why they drive how they do.
Added Difficulties of Driving a Truck
Driving a truck has several extra challenges that an average car does not have to worry about. Because of the already much-greater risk of an accident that commercial trucks carry, drivers will often compensate for these factors. Here are some things you should accommodate for when sharing the road with a big rig.
- Reduced field of vision: Even with giant side-view mirrors, including special ones designed to see into blind spots, the sheer size of big rigs means they have several large blind spots that you should avoid at all costs.
- Greater stopping distances: Trucks take a long time to get up to speed because of their immense weight, and that same weight means it also takes them a much longer time to come back to a stop, even with massive brakes specially designed for large payloads.
- Wind: Because of their large height and long, exposed surfaces, commercial trucks are heavily impacted by winds that normal vehicles may not even feel the impact of.
- Lack of maneuverability: Nearly every driver knows that a semi-truck can’t handle as quickly as a sports car can, so turns, lane changes, and other maneuvers tend to appear lumbering and slow. Give trucks space and time to make the maneuvers they need to make and you can pass them safely soon.
- Wide turns: Trucks have long payloads and as such have to take turns extremely wide. This is especially true for right turns. Never pass a turning truck on the inside, especially when they are turning right.
Maneuvering Safely Around Trucks
Here are three tips for safe driving around semi-trucks.
Pass with care. Be aware trucks cannot see all the way around their vehicle and only pass them where they can see you. Only pass on the left side as the blind spot is smaller here, and maintain a steady speed while doing so.
Give lots of space. Keep a safe following distance from the rear of a big rig, as you never know when they’ll need to change lanes or suddenly swerve or stop. A truck going 65 miles per hour needs around 200 yards to stop in ideal conditions.
Be aware. Make sure you’re constantly scanning and looking for indications that a semi-truck may need to change lanes or speed up. Being in a smaller and more maneuverable car gives you the ability to quickly maneuver out of danger should a truck ever need to swerve or merge near you.
If you are injured in a truck accident, Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC are ready to help you. Our Martin County truck accident attorneys are dedicated to helping you protect your rights and obtain the outcome to your case you are seeking. We have more than 75 years of experience helping clients who have been injured through no fault of their own, and we have developed a strong reputation for relentless representation and substantial success.Talk to an attorney about your case today! Call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC today at 866-675-4427 to request a consultation.