Driving on the highways and roads of America presents many dangerous situations. These are all exacerbated when a big 18-wheeler is involved. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over 4,000 people a year die in large truck accidents each year.
When things still go wrong, be sure to contact a competent law firm.
Maintain Safe Driving Distance
The first rule of thumb is to avoid getting too close to a large truck. Always remember that their size and weight (up to 80,000 pounds) make it more difficult for them to stop.
Your personal car may be able to stop on a dime, but an 18-wheeler hauling a load will continue screeching on for a few feet. In fact, most truck drivers slow to a gradual stop, continually pressing on the breaks before coming to an intersection. You should allow for this fact when following behind them. If you cannot see their side-view mirrors, then you are too close. Back up to be safe.
Avoid Trucks in Windy Conditions
Though 18-wheelers are heavy, they are still vulnerable to strong winds. The long trailer can create a sail effect.
When the wind blows against the trailer, the truck can begin drifting in and out of its lane. If you are driving beside a rig during windy conditions be prepared for this likelihood. Try to get by the truck as soon as possible.
Be Aware of Blind Spots
Because of the size of their vehicles, truck drivers have numerous blind spots. They cannot see cars and motorcycles that are directly behind them, especially those within 25 feet. Likewise, smaller vehicles directly in front cannot be easily seen.
You also want to be aware that most of the passenger side of the rig is a “no go” zone when passing. The driver will not be able to see you until it is too late. Therefore, always pass on the left side of a big rig.
Watch for Blowouts
Everyone has seen tire shards on the highways. These are usually left after a truck rambling down the road has experienced a dangerous blowout.A tire blows apart. The truck begins moving erratically, causing a serious accident.Always be extra vigilant when driving near a large truck because you never know the condition of the tires.
Get Professional Advice
If you are involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, always seek compassionate medical and legal advice. The attending physician will document all the injuries. Then, your attorney will use this information to seek compensation for the damage done.