From major blind spots to large, heavy loads and limited maneuverability, commercial trucks can pose a significant risk to much smaller passenger vehicles. The average tractor-trailer may weigh as much as 20 to 30 times more than a typical car.
With so much at stake, even experienced drivers may want to keep these basic safety tips in mind to avoid a potentially deadly crash.
1. Anticipate wide turns
Semis may have a turning radius of as much as 55 feet. Trucks and other oversized vehicles may need to occupy a middle lane to swing wide when turning, potentially trapping smaller vehicles that may be occupying the space between the truck and the curb.
2. Know that larger vehicles need more time to start, stop
Larger and longer than most vehicles, commercial trucks may take much more time to brake, accelerate and perform passing maneuvers. Other motorists may want to allow extra space when following. When passing a truck, drivers should wait until they can see both headlights in the rearview mirror before moving into the lane.
3. Keep blind spots in mind
Oversized vehicles have significant blinds spots on either side as well as to the front and rear. Drivers should avoid traveling in these “No Zone” areas to ensure that the truck operator can maintain visibility of surrounding traffic.
While it is important for drivers to stay alert when sharing the road with large trucks, even a careful motorist may suffer serious injury if a trucker acts negligently. From potentially catastrophic medical expenses to a disability or even death, drivers and their families should know that needed compensation may be available.