Driving around large semi-trucks on the highway is not the same as driving around other passenger vehicles. Semi-trucks that are fully loaded can weigh more than 80,000 pounds - or more than 40 tons. All that extra weight makes it hard for these trucks to brake quickly or to respond to dangers on the road.
It is important to follow additional precautions when driving around large semi-trucks in order to keep yourself and other drivers safe on the road. Here are 5 tips for safe driving around large semi-trucks:
When you approach a semi-truck, or you see one approaching you, be on alert. Tractor trailers and other large trucks do not move the same as other vehicles on the road. Wind can push the trailers into other lanes, tires can explode onto the road, and the truck can start to drift across lanes if the driver becomes fatigued.
Unfortunately, a truck driver cannot react as quickly to these situations because of the size and the weight of the truck. You must be alert to take defensive measures as needed when the truck driver cannot, including braking or changing lanes quickly.
Don't Pass on the Right
Trucks have to swing widely to the left to make a right turn, creating a large gap that may make it seem like there is room to pass. If you try to pass a truck on the right, you leave open the opportunity that the truck will plow into your vehicle if it is trying to turn right.
Passing on the right is never a safe idea, but it presents even more problems if you try to do it to a truck. Stay safe and always pass on the left.
Don't Drive in a Blind Spot
Every vehicle has a blind spot for the driver. If you are in a truck's blind spot and the driver makes a lane change or has to swerve to avoid debris or other obstacles, the results could be disastrous.
Stay safe and stay out of a truck's blind spot. Pass quickly, and stay ahead of or behind the truck instead of side-by-side.
Don't Cut Off a Truck
With all that weight in tow, it can be very difficult for a semi-truck to slow down or come to a stop quickly. In fact, it can take a large tractor-trailer the length of three football fields to come to a complete stop from traveling 60 mph. If you cut off a semi-truck, the driver won't be able to stop quickly and may just plow right into the back of your vehicle.
Leaving plenty of room between you and a semi-truck when pulling into the same lane. Not only is it courteous, but it will also keep you both safe.
Don't Follow Too Closely
If you are tailgating a semi-truck, chances are that the driver can't see you and that you can't see anything in front of the truck - meaning that you also can't know if obstacles are approaching. If the truck has to come to a sudden stop, you may not have any warning, and an accident could easily occur.
It's always a good idea to allow enough following space between you and another vehicle on the road. It's even more important to do so when you are behind a large tractor-trailer.
Remember: Semi-trucks don't behave the same way as other vehicles on the road. Following these tips will help keep you and other drivers safe.
North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case and to find out if one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers may be able to help you!