It is important to drive safely near semi trucks to avoid an accident. Semi trucks travel about 140 billion miles a year in the United States. Understandably, semi trucks are critical and necessary to be on the road to deliver goods to stores. How can a small vehicle be safe while driving near a semi truck or other large vehicle?
Idaho State Police reported a fatal semi truck accident near Idaho Falls. The driver of a pickup truck attempted to pass a semi truck before entering a construction zone. Unfortunately, the pickup truck did not have enough time to pass. The semi truck collided with the pickup causing the pickup to roll. The pickup came to rest on its top off the west shoulder of I-15. The passenger of the pickup truck was ejected from the vehicle during the roll and succumbed to injuries at the scene. It is unclear if seat belts were worn. The driver of the pickup was taken to the hospital by ambulance for injuries to be evaluated.
This story is a perfect example of why it is important to drive safely near semi trucks to avoid an accident. Here are some tips to drive safely near semi trucks to avoid an accident:
Tip 1: Make Sure the Semi Truck Driver Can See You
A semi truck has four blind spots:
- Directly in front of the cab
- On the right of the cab
- On the driver’s side from the cab door to 1/3 down the trailer
- Directly behind the trailer
A good rule of thumb to remember is if you can’t see the driver in their rear view mirrors, they can’t see you. It is also a good idea to no linger near a semi truck. Lingering leaves you to possibly be in a truck driver’s blind spot.
Tip 2: Leave Plenty of Space
It is hard enough to maneuver a large vehicle such as a semi truck. Give the semi truck driver a break by leaving them some space. Some issues with following a semi truck too closely include:
- The truck driver cannot see directly behind them. If a car is following too closely, it is most likely they will hit the back of the trailer.
- Semi trucks often have tires that blow out. To avoid large chunks of debris flying at you, stay back.
A good amount of space to leave is five seconds.
Tip 3: Never Cut Off a Semi Truck
Trucks need twice as much space to stop compared with a car. If you cut off a semi while braking, it is likely the semi is going to crash into you. Semi trucks weigh 80,000 pounds. Stopping a fully loaded truck takes some time and space.
Tip 4: Use Your Turn Signals and Have Patience
A semi truck has to drive slower than a car because of its size. It is easy to become impatient with a semi truck but remember to have patience. It could save a life. Semi truck drivers may have to cut you off to pass another vehicle. It is not usually their intention to inconvenience you. They do it to keep momentum. Honking, tailgating or flashing your lights will not speed things up. Just be patient and courteous.
Tip 5: Avoid passing or driving in the lane to the Right of a Semi Truck
A few key reasons to avoid passing a semi truck on the right are:
- A semi truck has a large blind spot on their right. Passing on the right endangers your ability to be seen by the semi truck driver.
- When turning, a semi truck needs extra space. Avoid being sandwiched between a large semi and a pole or other objects on the side of the road.
Contact the Law Office of Personal Injury Attorney Brent Gordon
If you have recently been involved in a semi truck accident, call the law office of Brent Gordon. We can usually tell you right over the phone if you have a good case. Call now for a free consultation.
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