Not fully appreciating the dangers of semi trucks is a common failing among motorists. This is caused by a lack of awareness of the truck’s limited braking and swerving ability, their large blind spots, and other limitations. Driving near semi trucks is dangerous. Here are five reasons why:
Trucks Cannot Stop on a Dime
Semi trucks are up to twenty times heavier than the average car. Although they have more wheels and therefore more brakes than a car, they require more braking distance. Pulling too closely in front of a fast-moving truck, especially on wet pavement, doesn’t give the truck driver enough braking distance. Assess the type of oncoming vehicle before pulling in front of it. Likewise, don’t cut off a truck when changing lanes in stop-and-go traffic.
Trucks Cannot Swerve
Trucks can’t swerve as well as cars. Their weight, top-heaviness, and the fact that they’re pulling trailers make them unstable compared to cars. Trucks that attempt to swerve hard, especially when braking, can jackknife or tip over. Therefore, they don’t have the swerving option for avoiding a truck accident with you if you pull in front of them or cut them off.
Wind Gusts Can Tip over Trucks with Empty Trailers
Give trucks extra space on windy days. This includes allowing extra following space should one tip over in front of you. Sometimes trucks will make sudden corrective maneuvers when hit by wind gusts. Don’t linger next to them.
Trucks May Have Unstable Loads
Loads inside of trailers can shift and cause them to lose control, tip over, or make sudden maneuvers. The effects of unstable loads are similar to wind gusts. However, unlike driving with trucks on windy days, motorists have no way of anticipating this problem.
Trucks Have Large Blind Spots
When passing a truck on multilane highways, do it quickly on the truck’s left side. The truck’s largest blind spot is on its right side. It also has a blind spot directly in front of its engine hood. Therefore, don’t merge back left in front of a truck until you see its windshield in your rear-view mirror. Don’t tailgate behind a truck, because the driver can’t see you and won’t take you into account when she brakes.
If in spite of your careful driving, you were injured in an accident with a truck, talk to the lawyers at Hogan Injury. Contact us today for a free consultation.