Sharing the Road With Tractor Trailers

Thomas Jeter • November 3, 2016

Sharing the Road With Tractor Trailers

On October 11, 2016, a car smashed into the back of a tractor-trailer as it was making a right-hand turn onto Highway 123. While the driver of the tractor-trailer was uninjured, WYFF 4 News reports that the woman driving the car was killed.  Accidents like this happen every day across the country. The Institute for Highway Safety has reported that in 2014, the number of people who died in crashes involving large trucks was 3,660. The majority of those killed in these accidents were not the drivers of the trucks, but the people inside the passenger cars. There are several things you can do to avoid a collision with a tractor trailer.

Allow Generous Stopping Time

Large trucks take a longer time to slow down than passenger vehicles, so you need to take extra precautions around them. Indicate all moves, especially stops and turns, far longer than you would in normal traffic situations. When you are changing lanes, allow more room in front of the trucks and be careful not to swerve or cut tractor trailers off since they require more time to react.

Do Not Pass on the Right

The case mentioned above occurred when a car collided with a large truck turning right. When tractor trailers need to turn right, they often do so from the center lane to allow room for the turn. Many cars make the mistake of trying to squeeze past and turn right on the side of these trucks. The problem is that it often puts the car directly in the blind spot of the truck and they can end up being crushed.

Watch for Blind Spots

Drivers of tractor trailers have much larger blind spots than those of passenger cars. If you cannot see the driver, he or she cannot see you. Cars behind the trailer can be completely hidden, while there are also large blind spots along the sides of the trailer. Drivers of tractor trailers have extra mirrors to compensate for the visual blocks, but there are still several areas that cannot be seen. If you are driving alongside a tractor trailer, try to pass the truck as quickly as possible to avoid being stuck in its blind spot.

While it’s impossible to avoid any accidents, being extra careful around tractor trailers can reduce your chances of being involved in an accident. If you do become involved in an accident with a tractor trailer, an our experienced attorneys can help you recover any losses and damages.