Large trucks have the capacity to weigh up to 80,000 pounds depending on their cargo; comparatively, a car can weigh around one or two tons. Mix these vehicles together with icy, slippery conditions and a distracted driver and you have a recipe for disaster. In addition to the road conditions you can have violent thunderstorms, high winds, and in some parts of the country, giant dust storms called Haboobs that bring visibility to near zero.
To protect yourself and the occupants in your car, there are several steps you can exercise while sharing the road with a semi truck:
- Stay out of the truck’s blind spots- Even though every truck is equipped with side mirrors, the driver still has blind spots. If you find yourself driving next to a large truck either pass the truck or fall behind it. While passing, try to stay to the trucks left side where their visibility is greater.
- Never follow a large truck too closely- Keep roughly 20 car lengths in between the front of your vehicle and the back of the truck. A large truck’s stopping distance varies greatly depending on if their carrying cargo or not so it’s best to steer clear incase the truck driver underestimates their stopping distance.
- Use extra caution when passing a truck- When you’re passing a truck, do not go back into your lane until you can see the trucks headlights in your rear view mirror. Leaving this distance is important because if you are in a collision with a truck, the smaller vehicle will be the one that takes the brunt of the damages.
- Never allow a truck to follow your vehicle too closely- Again, the truck driver could underestimate their stopping distance so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Simply move your car into another lane if it’s possible.
By exercising caution and being diligent of your surroundings, you could avoid a collision with one of these giants and keep enjoying the sight of nature blooming around you.
If you or a family member is unfortunate enough to be involved in a tragic accident with a semi-truck or rig of any kind, our knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations enables us to help injured victims and their families obtain substantial settlements from trucking companies each year. Call us for a free case evaluation whenever involved in this type of accident.