Few things are more nerve-wracking on the roads around Richmond than passing or driving near an 18-wheeler. The noise, the inherent sense of danger, and the size of the other vehicle make it a harrowing experience. And in the instances where a 3,000 pound vehicle collides with an 80,000 pound semi truck, the results can be tragic and include irreparable injuries and even fatalities.
Many things can lead to a collision with a semi truck, but it is very likely that the driver of the semi truck simply didn’t see you when they were turning, rapidly decelerating, or changing lanes. Large trucks have large blind spots and it’s important to be mindful of those areas on the highway.
Here are some ways to maintain a safe buffer zone on the road:
- Know where the blind spots are: There is a blind spot directly behind the truck, on each side of the truck that can span for several lanes, by the right-hand door, and in front of the truck that encompasses the lane the truck is in and one lane to the right.
- Do not follow a truck too closely: By staying close behind a truck (also known as “tailgating”), you’ll be in the truck’s rear blind spot. If the driver does not know you are there and makes an emergency stop, you may rear end the truck. A safe following distance is considered to be 300 feet (or 20 car-lengths) at 55 mph.
- Give plenty of space when driving in front of a truck: Ensure that there is ample room when you change lanes in front of a truck to avoid being rear ended. You should be able to see the entire front of the truck (or both of its headlights) in your inside rear-view mirror before you pull back in front of a truck.
- Blow your horn if you see the turn signal on your side come on: If you notice a truck start moving into your lane blow your horn. You may be in the driver’s blind spot. Blowing your horn is your only warning to a trucker that you’re in the place he or she is trying to go. Hit your horn several times if necessary.
- Be patient: When sharing the road with trucks, it’s important to drive carefully and to realize that trucks cannot maneuver quickly in an emergency situation. Being patient is as important as knowing where the truck’s blind spots are.
Large truck accidents cause significant damage and often cost trucking companies a lot of money. For this reason, they employ big insurance companies who will begin investigating immediately in order to minimize their costs and pay you as little as possible. That’s why it’s important to call the tractor trailer accident attorneys of Collier & Collier, P.C. right away. Contact us at 1-804-364-5200 or toll free at 1-877-825-0543 for a free consultation to discuss your case. Let us put our resources to work for you.