Winter is over but that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. Every season, including spring, has its own set of driving hazards. What’s hazardous to you as a motorist is also dangerous to the big semi trucks with which you share the road. Unfortunately, too many motorists are complacent around these huge 18-wheeled behemoths. Although these big rigs seem steady for the most part, you should exercise caution to avoid causing or being the victim of a truck accident. Watch for these four truck related dangers this spring:
Bad Road Conditions
Winter weather can cause road damage such as large cracks, potholes, and long sections of broken up pavement. Semi trucks don’t have the same stability as cars because of their top-heaviness and the long trailers they pull. Severely damaged pavement can cause trucks to lose control if they are traveling too fast.
Spring can get windy in many parts of California. Wind gusts may push trucks around because their large broad-sided trailers can catch a lot of wind. The danger is especially acute when the trailers are empty or lightly loaded. Trucks are easily tipped over by winds, particularly in exposed areas such as high bridges. Avoid driving beside trucks in windy weather. If you must pass one, do so several lanes over, or quickly get by it on an adjacent lane. Don’t linger next to them.
Construction areas can involve sudden lane merges. When the traffic ahead is braking hard, don’t cut off a semi truck. Some drivers will wait until the last second before merging, and will “dive” into any traffic gap large enough to accommodate their car. Doing this in front of a semi truck could get you rear ended because these trucks require more braking distance than you’re allowing them.
Rain is also common in spring. Trucks that hit pools of water can hydroplane just like cars. If they’re forced to brake hard or swerve on wet pavement, they can jackknife. When driving in rain, you should always slow down and increase your following distance.
This rule especially applies when driving behind trucks. The water spray and mist generated by these vehicles can make it impossible to see their brake lights. This means you get no warning when they brake, which can be fatal when tailgating them. This water mist and spray also make you invisible to the truck driver.
If you sustained injuries in a truck accident, contact us at Hogan Injury to schedule a free consultation.