Safe Driving Around Semi-Trailer Trucks

safe driving around semi trailer trucksSemi-trailer trucks are a common sight on highways across the United States. Because of the sheer size of these vehicles, semi-trailer trucks account for a significant portion of vehicle crashes involving injuries and fatalities.

Tips to Staying Safe on the Highway

As the weather turns and friends and family begin to take their road trips across this country, it is important to know how to make yourself as safe as possible when sharing the road with these trucks. Here are a few helpful driving tips to help you stay safe:

Be Aware of No-Zones. Often referred to as a blind spot on smaller vehicles, a no-zone is a large blind spot around a larger commercial vehicle. Truck drivers cannot see other vehicles that occupy their no-zones, and the driver may not even be aware of another car’s presence if the car is within a no-zone. These no-zones extend several feet away from the truck on all sides. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you cannot see a driver in his or her side mirrors, the driver cannot see you.  However, there are still no-zones where a driver may be able to see the truck’s mirrors and the truck driver still cannot see the car. It is therefore important to use caution around trucks at all times, and never occupy the space immediately alongside, behind, or in front of a semi-trailer truck.

Be Predictable. When driving around trucks, it is important to avoid any erratic moves, like trying to pass a truck on the right or trying to beat a merging truck to a spot in your lane. Instead, practice patient driving. If you need to pass a truck, do so on the left side and at a consistent speed for maximum visibility. As always, if a truck is trailing you make sure to give them plenty of warning of your next maneuver by using turn signals for lane changes and applying brakes early when you see brake lights ahead of you.

Pay closer attention. While you shouldn’t be texting/tweeting/etc. and driving whenever you are behind the wheel, this is especially important when driving near huge semi-trailers. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, distracted driving accounted for nearly 2 out of 10 crashes involving injuries and 9 out of 10 crashes involving a fatality in 2010.

Speak to a Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Today

Practice these tips and use common sense in your safe travels this year! If you were invovled in a truck accident and would like to speak an attorney, contact Shannon Law Group at 312-578-9501, or fill out a contact form here to schedule a free initial consultation. For more information on navigating an Illinois automobile accident, consider downloading a copy of our free ebook, Transportation Law, Rights, and Injuries: Charting Your Course of Legal Action.

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