Admit it. If you are like most drivers, sharing the road with 18 wheeler tractor-trailer trucks can be a little nerve racking, particularly when you are surrounded by them.
First – just what dangers do these vehicles really pose?
Dangers of Tractor Trailers:
- They can suffer catastrophic mechanical failure – either randomly or as a result of faulty maintenance. A thing as simple as a tire blow-out can create a very dangerous road hazard requiring other drivers to swerve suddenly and lose control.
- They may carry overweight loads – dangerously altering the way the vehicles handle at high speeds.
- They can be operated by drivers too tired to safely operate the machines.
- Their turning radius is significantly larger than the turning radius for smaller vehicles.
- Drivers of these vehicles drive while distracted, just like car drivers do. Imagine the danger posed by a driver of a fully loaded multi-trailer rig texting while he or she drives?
- Drinking or using drugs and driving is obviously not limited to car drivers… an intoxicated truck driver is a very grave danger to other drivers.
- Debris being carted by these rigs can fly off and strike other vehicles causing car accidents.
Steps for Driving Defensively Around Tractor Trailers:
- Try NEVER to pass a big rig on the right side of the truck. Cars on that side of a truck are generally less visible to the truck driver. Also your risk of getting into a car and truck accident are far greater when you ride too closely next to the truck where the truck driver has little or no visibility.
- If you are at an intersection, very carefully assess an on-coming truck’s speed. By their mere size, large trucks cannot react as quickly to road dangers.
- When near a truck, change lanes with great care – and remember the point above – trucks because of their size – cannot react as quickly to changing traffic conditions.
- If you want to pass a truck – make sure you do so deliberately – avoiding long periods of time in the truck driver’s blind spot.
- If the weather is lowering visibility due to road spray – remember that your visibility and the truck driver’s visibility are BOTH impaired.
- Never tailgate a truck. The concept of “drafting” behind one of these rigs is a deadly car accident waiting to happen.
- If you see a truck that is not holding a straight line well or changing speeds frequently and erratically – keep your distance.
- If you are confronted by a truck driver driving aggressively and too closely to your vehicle, safely move to another lane and create distance as quickly as is safely possible.
If you are ever injured in a car accident with a large truck, know that the Connecticut car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting drivers injured in accidents for almost 60 years. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you are ever in a car accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut car accident lawyers, please contact us. There is no obligation. And – there is no fee or other costs unless we are successful on your behalf.