Tractor trailers, sometimes called semis, are huge trucks designed to haul goods over long distances. They can also cause serious, potentially deadly injuries in the event they’re involved in an accident.
Tips for Driving Safely Near Tractor Trailers
If you regularly spend time driving on highways, interstates, and other roadways where tractor trailers routinely drive, it’s important to stay safe. Here are some tips:
Avoid blind spots. Tractor trailers have much larger blind spots than passenger vehicles. Driving in a blind spot increases the risk that the driver won’t be able to see you when the truck changes lanes. Remember, if you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, the driver can’t see you.
Avoid abrupt lane changes. Jumping in and out of lanes is a bad idea anyway, but doing so near a large truck is dangerous. As a general rule, you should always signal before a lane change, check your mirrors and blind spots, and then carefully switch lanes.
Don’t cut a truck driver off. Cutting off any vehicle is unsafe and could be considered reckless driving. It may prove fatal if you do this to a tractor trailer. These trucks need more time to slow down due to their size, and could easily crash into you if you cut them off.
Pass with care. Along those same lines, make sure you’re far enough ahead of a tractor trailer before you pass it. Keep a constant speed as you pass. If you’re going to move in front of the truck, wait until you see the front of the truck in your rear-view mirror.
Adjust your driving to the road and environmental conditions. If it’s rainy, dark, or the roads are slick, you should adjust your driving behavior. Slow down and be extra cautious. Allow more space between yourself and other vehicles, especially large trucks.
Know where you’re going. If you’re not familiar with the road you’re driving on, consider using a GPS in accordance with safety rules for mobile devices. Not knowing where you’re going could distract you from safely driving.
Don’t follow too closely. Allow enough space between you and a tractor trailer, and never tailgate one. It’s also a good idea to slow down and allow a truck to pass instead of trying to keep ahead of it. Not all truck drivers are responsible, but there’s no need to put yourself at risk.
It’s better to miss an exit than drive recklessly. If you’re nearing your exit and a tractor trailer is blocking you, don’t panic. Drive to the next exit and turn back. It’s much safer to do this than to try to speed up or otherwise maneuver unsafely around a large truck.
Understand the potential risk. The tractor trailer you’re driving around could be hauling significant weight, or it may even contain hazardous materials. Understanding the potential risk may keep any unsafe driving in check.
Call Hale & Monico Today
Remember, even with these tips in mind, you have no control over whether a tractor trailer driver will act negligently. If you’ve been injured because of an irresponsible truck driver, you could be entitled to monetary compensation. Let Hale & Monico fight for you. Call today to learn more.