There are ways that motorists can drive safely around tractor trailers in order to minimize their risk of being involved in an accident.
There is no question that tractor trailers pose a significant danger to motorists on the road. Not only does their massive size make them difficult to operate in certain conditions, but truckers who are operating the vehicles must be properly trained, qualified and coherent as well. In 2013, 3,906 people were killed in large truck accidents across the country, and approximately 249 of those deaths occurred in California, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A number of those accidents were caused by distracted, drowsy and drunk truckers, as well as equipment malfunctions and bad weather conditions. Fortunately, there are some things that drivers can do to minimize their risk of becoming involved in a tragic tractor trailer collision.
Watch out for blind spots
Since tractor trailers are considerably long, they have large blind spots occurring on all sides of the truck. According to State Farm, drivers should avoid lingering in these blind spots, which are especially large on the right-hand side and in back of the truck. It is important for drivers to keep in mind that if they cannot see the truck driver's side-view mirror, than the trucker cannot see their vehicle. It is best to pass big rigs quickly and on the left-hand side of the truck.
Careful when braking
Tractors trailers need a longer stopping distance than motor vehicles. It is impossible for trucks to slam on their brakes and come to a complete stop. Drivers who pull out in front of trucks and hit their brakes are in danger of getting rear-ended. Similarly, truckers who are speeding may find it difficult to slow down with traffic if they are not careful. Motorists should always give a trucker plenty of room when switching lanes or pulling out in front of a tractor trailer.
Practice defensive driving
While motorists should always drive defensively when sharing the road with other vehicles, they should be particularly careful when driving alongside a big rig. This is especially true in inclement weather conditions, such as snow, ice, rain, wind and fog. When a truck is making a turn or trying to switch lanes, motorists should give them plenty of room to complete the maneuver.
Dealing with a catastrophic truck accident
Large truck accidents can result in devastating injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage and even paralysis. If you been involved in a tractor trailer accident and are seeking answers to questions regarding your case, you may want to speak to a personal injury attorney in California. A lawyer may be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries, damaged property and lost wages from work.