There are many reasons why cars become involved in accidents with large trucks. Driver error, inclement weather, mechanical failures and medical problems may trigger collisions. Such mishaps often result in serious injuries and extensive damage. The tremendous weight of a commercial truck increases the likelihood that vehicles will be completely destroyed in the process.
Fortunately, car drivers can prevent some of these accidents by operating their vehicles mindfully and taking various safety precautions. You can minimize the risks by avoiding these three mistakes when you encounter a tractor-trailer:
1. Improper Passing
Exercise great caution when passing a large truck. Never try to pass it on the right. Make sure that you definitely have enough time to fully overtake the vehicle before any oncoming cars arrive. As you pass a truck, move near the left edge of the passing lane. Leave extra space after passing; avoid driving in the blind spot directly ahead of a tractor-trailer.
Remember that it may take a big-rig driver some time to notice that a car is passing. As always, don’t forget to activate your directional lights before changing lanes.
2. Drive in Blind Spots
All tractor-trailers have multiple blind spots. If your vehicle is inside one of these zones, the big-rig driver won’t see you. This can easily cause a crash if the truck turns, accelerates or brakes. There are four places that you need to avoid.
They include the areas next to a truck’s steering wheel, in front of its engine and behind its rear door. Leave a minimum of 25 feet between your car and the back of a truck. This will help the driver see you. It also gives you enough time to apply your brakes if the tractor-trailer stops. You should also stay away from a zone located to the rear of a truck’s right-hand side.
3. Drive Too Near
In general, it’s best to leave plenty of extra room around cargo trucks. These massive vehicles take longer to accelerate, brake and turn. They also cover a much wider area when turning. This means that they need more space and it’s harder to predict their actions.
Some collisions occur when motorists drive too close to trucks that experience mechanical failures or encounter slippery surfaces. When you follow a tractor-trailer, leave enough space so that it would take you five seconds to reach the truck if it were to completely stop. It’s even better to leave a larger space.
If you consistently avoid these three errors, the probability of a crash will significantly decrease. This protects everyone on the road and prevents car trips from turning into nightmares. Nonetheless, motorists can’t always avoid such accidents. The large size of a cargo truck makes it more likely to inadvertently cause a collision.
Some employers also expect big-rig drivers to work excessive hours, increasing the likelihood of fatigued or drowsy driving. A knowledgeable legal professional can help motorists gain compensation. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a truck accident, please call Florida attorney Jim Souza at 813-254-9205.