Guidelines for Sharing the Road with Semi-Trucks

Truck accidents, including collisions with a semi-truck or big rig are something every driver wants to avoid. Serious injuries and fatalities often occur as a result of the truck’s size, weight and momentum involved in the impact.

According to Safer America Consumer Safety Information, trucks transport approximately 68 percent of all U.S. goods, and they travel 140 billion miles a year. They also account for an estimated 10 percent of fatal vehicle accidents every year.

As a driver, there are some precautions you can take to reduce your chances of being involved in a truck accident.

Avoid Trucks’ Blind Spots

People often do not realize that trucks have larger blind spots than most other vehicles. If you suspect you are in a blind spot, it is likely that you are. Lingering in a blind spot is not something you want to do. Also, do not swerve quickly in front of or behind a truck because the driver may not see you.

Do Not Pass Trucks on the Right-Hand Side

Blind spots on the right side of trucks are often larger than on the left side.

Avoid Driving Between Trucks

If you are on a multi-lane freeway, you can end up with a truck on either side of you. There is often little room and no space to react and get out of the way, if necessary. As soon as possible, try to safely drive your car out of this position so you are not vulnerable.

Leave Plenty of Distance

Aside from the weight of the rig, many trucks also carry heavy cargoes with total weights reaching up to 80,000 pounds. Stopping quickly is often not an option for truck drivers. For this reason, make sure you leave plenty of space between your vehicle and theirs. Also, if you can avoid it, never stop abruptly in front of a large truck.

Allow the Truck to Move in Front of You

You are more likely to avoid an accident by allowing a large truck to move in front of your car. Keep your distance, and if the truck is going slower than you wish, wait for the right time to pass.

Do Not Use Your Mobile Phone

While texting and driving is illegal, distracted driving is even more dangerous when driving around large trucks. In fact, reduce your risk by not using a cell phone when driving around large trucks.

If you are seriously injured in an accident, consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible so you understand your legal rights.