3 ways to improve safety when traveling near semitrailers

Any type of vehicle crash can be dangerous, but crashes between semitrailers and smaller vehicles can be particularly devastating, especially for the occupants of the passenger vehicle. While this is partially because of the size difference between semitrailers and passenger vehicles, the ground clearance of both vehicles also contributes to the severity of this type of crash.

Some universal road safety tips can help you avoid being in a trucking crash. For example, being sober, alert and attentive gives you the best control of your vehicle and can help you best react to unexpected hazards. However, trucks do not operate in the same way passenger vehicles do, so there are a few additional tips to keep in mind to specifically avoid truck collisions.

Only pass when you can do so safely

It can be dangerous to pass a semitrailer because they have large blind spots on all four sides. If you must pass one, be sure to pass on the left side where the blind spot is smaller. Try to avoid passing on the downslope of a hill where the truck might pick up speed.

Be sure to signal your intention clearly before moving into the left lane. Then, accelerate slightly, so you can pass the truck promptly without lingering in any blind spots.

Avoid cutting off large trucks

When changing lanes or merging in front of a truck, try to leave plenty of space. If you are too close to the front of the truck, the driver may not be able to see you because there is a 20-foot blind spot. However, even if a trucker can see you, it can be dangerous to position your vehicle too close to the truck.

Because of their weight, it takes semitrailers much farther than it takes cars to come to a complete stop. It could take a loaded semitrailer 20 to 40% farther to stop. If a truck does not have enough space to stop, it could override your vehicle.

Be intentional about actions in intersections

It is not just the weight of semitrailers that sets them apart from passenger vehicles. Semitrailers are also much longer than passenger vehicles. Because of this added length, semitrailers must swing wide or start from a middle lane to successfully complete a turn.

Unfortunately, many drivers of passenger vehicles do not always realize this when they approach an intersection, so they try to squeeze between a turning truck and the curb. This can result in the car being pinched when the truck turns. You can avoid this by anticipating a truck’s need to swing wide and staying behind the truck when you approach an intersection.

Because trucking collisions can be so dangerous, it can be advantageous to take special precautions to keep you and your vehicle’s other occupants safe. However, if you find yourself injured in an trucking collision, it is important to understand your rights.

Although drivers of passenger vehicles cause many trucking collisions, truck drivers also cause many collisions. If someone else’s reckless actions caused your injuries, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses and other costs related to your injury.

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