Safety Tips for Driving Near Tractor Trailers

Everyone who has driven on the highway has at some point ended up next to a tractor trailer. The sheer size and power of these big rigs is impressive, but unfortunately, many drivers don’t account for that fact and then drive more defensively. Instead, people often treat these huge trucks as just another vehicle. That approach is a dangerous mistake because, in order to drive safely near a tractor trailer, you have to recognize that they are not like other cars and trucks, and can cause much more damage in an accident. Even for truck drivers with an excellent safety record, accidents can and do occur, and they are frequently, tragically fatal. Recently in Jackson, MI, for example, driver Mark Feuss was found guilty of two counts of reckless driving for a crash in September of 2014 that killed two women, who were in a car trying to turn left when Feuss’s tractor trailer full of sand ran into their car.

With that in mind, here is a brief list of things to remember whenever you find yourself driving near a tractor trailer:

  • Their stopping distance is much, much longer than your car’s. Never crowd them
  • They have enormous blind spots, particularly on the right. Make sure you always pass on the left and do it as quickly as is legally possible to ensure that you don’t travel in their left-side blind spot for long.
  • Never cut by a tractor trailer that’s making a turn. The trucks always swing wide when turning, and the driver is very unlikely to see your car in his mirror because the mirror is set so he can see the trailer as it moves.
  • Watch out for windy conditions and tire blowouts. The wind can push a big rig around on the road with ease, and blowouts, which happen a lot due to the enormous weight placed on the tires, often cause a truck to swerve. You don’t want to be in the way in either case.

If you keep these points in mind, you’re better protected from the serious harm that an accident with a tractor trailer typically causes. If you've been injured in an accident with a tractor trailer, contact Whiting Law for a free consultation.

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