Tips for Drivers to Safely Share the Roads with Tractor Trailers
Nearly 3 million semi-trucks, also called tractor trailers, are registered in the United States. These large vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, approximately 20 times more than a typical car. Due to their sheer size and structure, they are more difficult to maneuver, and passenger car and tractor trailer drivers alike need to take precautions to share the roads safely and avoid accidents.
Unfortunately, serious accidents can occur that can cut lives short. According to the latest available statistics, 4,102 people were killed in tractor trailer accidents in 2017. 83% of the fatality victims were passenger car occupants.
What Increases the Risk of Tractor Trailer Accidents?
- Tractor trailers need 40x more time to stop than cars. This is because of the size and the length of the vehicle.
- Tractor trailers are typically 80-80 feet long. Due to the length, tractor trailers have more blind spots than cars, which are areas that cannot be seen in either side or rearview mirrors.
- Tractor trailers need to make extremely wide turns. Their average turning radius is 55 ft, while the average road width is 24 ft.
What Should Drivers Do to Prevent Accidents from Happening?
Give Enough Space– Due to their size, trucks need more time and distance to break. Do not follow a tractor trailer too closely. You should stay at least 4 car-lengths ahead of behind a tractor trailer.
Wait for a Turn to be Completed – Wait a few seconds for a truck to complete a turn. Do not try to pass a truck before it is finished turning. Never try to squeeze past a truck before it makes a turn.
Always Pass of the Left – If you need to pass a tractor trailer, always pass on the left, and do so quickly.
Be Aware of Blind Spots – Remember if you can’t see a driver in their mirrors, they likely can’t see you. You should stay away from these areas as tractor trailer drivers could change lanes without seeing your car.
Don’t Cut a Truck Off– Do not try and speed up if a truck is about to come into your lane and then slow down. The truck may not see you and will not be able to slow down. Wait until you can safely pass it later.
Yield to Tractor Trailers – Always yield to trucks when they have the right of way.
By following these helpful tips and being more aware of the unique challenges of driving a tractor trailer, we hope everyone will share the roads and reach their destinations safely.
Your Kansas City Lawyers Are Here to Help
If you or someone you love have been seriously injured in a tractor trailer accident that wasn’t your fault, call the Kansas City Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyers at the Goss Law Firm at 816-888-5000 to speak about your situation for free.
When you call, an experienced lawyer will listen to your story, answer any questions you may have and provide legal advice to help you during this difficult time. There is never a fee for the initial consultation. Our compassionate team is dedicated to protecting your rights and helping you move forward with your life. Give us a call today.
The Goss Law Firm — Your Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys