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Safety Tips for Sharing the Road with Big Trucks

As a motorist, you are at a serious disadvantage if you’re in a crash with a semi-truck or other large commercial vehicle. In accidents involving heavy trucks, car drivers and passengers sustain 78% of fatalities. Sharing the road with tractor trailers is dangerous; however, you can do a lot to protect yourself and your loved ones by driving with caution around semis and being aware of their limitations. Here, we provide you with some tips for driving safely–to hopefully prevent an accident and to minimize injuries and fatalities if one does occur.

How to Avoid an Accident with a Heavy Truck

Many crashes between heavy commercial trucks and smaller vehicles can be avoided by following these safety tips:

  • Avoid blind spots around large trucks. If you can’t see a truck’s side mirrors, the truck driver can’t see you.

  • Avoid squeeze play. Do not pass a truck on the right while the truck is turning right. Trucks must swing wide to the left to negotiate right turns safely, and you can get caught between truck and curb.

  • Do not cut in front of any large vehicles because they require much more distance to stop in comparison to cars. Avoid emergency-braking situations.

  • When passing a semi, wait until you can see the entire cab in your rearview mirror before pulling in front of the truck.

  • Give trucks at least four to six seconds of space in wet conditions and at highway speeds.

  • Do not cut off a truck in traffic or on the highway to reach your exit or turn.

  • Slow down when driving through work zones. Nearly one-third of work zone fatal crashes involve large trucks.

  • Always drive defensively, and never aggressively. Over half of traffic fatalities can be linked to aggressive driving behaviors.

  • Always wear your seatbelt.

  • Remain focused on the road. Do not text or use your cell phone while driving.

  • Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Cautious, attentive drivers make public roads safer for all motorists. You can also help by notifying traffic safety agencies of crashes, unsafe drivers, unsafe roadway conditions, and other situations that can lead to accidents.

Talk to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney after a Semi-Truck Accident

All the care and caution in the world may still not prevent you from being involved in an accident with a negligent or reckless tractor trailer driver. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a semi-truck, the personal injury attorneys at Henry Spiegel Milling LLP are here to help you recover fair compensation for your injuries. Please call our offices in Atlanta at (404) 832-8000 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your options and best next step.