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Taking safety precautions when sharing the road with big rigs

| Nov 26, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

The thousands of trucks rolling along Texas highways can make the daily commute feel treacherous for the drivers of passenger vehicles. Learning how to share the road with them safely can help you reduce the potential for a collision that results in life-altering injuries. 

According to State Farm, many of the road challenges truck drivers face can result in deadly collisions with passenger vehicles. The longer stopping time and reduced field of vision makes it imperative for you to take steps that can help them share the road safely. 

Beware of wind gusts

The wind affects big trucks in multiple ways. The first is that the large surface of the cab and trailer creates a sail area. It can catch the breeze, creating more air current even on relatively still days. Trailers are tall and narrow, which can cause control issues for the driver. In windy conditions, the trailer may tip over if a strong gust catches it, causing a jackknife or rollover accident. Professional truckers typically check the weather forecast and plan or change their route accordingly. 

Holding onto the wheel with both hands when passing can help you retain control of your car and get out of the wind zone around the truck. At highway speeds, it can take up to 30 seconds to pass safely. 

Avoid blind spots

The no-zone is a blind spot area around the rig. In the back, it extends nearly 200 feet. If you can see the side mirrors on a tractor-trailer when following one, the driver should also be able to see you. However, when passing, the side blind spots are much larger than on a passenger vehicle. If the driver changes lanes while you are beside them, the collision could be devastating. Reduce the chances of an accident by passing as quickly as safely possible. 

If the truck driver fails to check the weather reports, mirrors or take precautions and you sustain injuries in a crash, you may have grounds for a negligence claim.