Big rig trucks are the transportation backbone of our nation and are responsible for moving enormous portions of our national goods from place to place not only inside California but between every other state as well. But these giants are far from gentle, and they are behind a frightening number of severe accidents every year which result in injuries from minor to life-changing, including many ending in fatalities.
While big rigs are bound by the same set of traffic laws, codes, and requirements that the rest of us are, they also must deal with many challenges unique to them, mainly due to their large size and deadly impact characteristics. If you are injured in an accident with a big rig, you can work with a California truck accident attorney to try to recover your damages, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are four tips to help you stay safe around big rigs.
Passing on the Right
When sharing the road with large semi-trucks, there is always a chance you’ll need to go around them, whether you need to get into a different lane or they’re just not going fast enough. Passing a semi on the right could be very dangerous. Stick to the driver’s side of the truck for passing, as they can see you better on this side.
Driving in a Blind Spot
All vehicles have blind spots, but when you’re trying to get around a 15-ton vehicle, it’s even more important to be mindful that you’re not in any blind spots. Getting out of a truck’s blind spot quickly and legally can keep you and the other drivers around you safe in case the truck driver has to swerve for any reason.
Semis have 4 blind spots:
- Along either side of the truck
- Directly in front of the truck
- Behind the truck, a distance away in which you are unable to see its mirrors
Cutting a Truck Off
One of the worst things you can do is cut a truck off. While many people wouldn’t give this a second thought on the highway, if the driver that cuts off the truck needs to stop suddenly it can turn deadly.
Big rigs tow enormous amounts of weight, which gives them incredible amounts of momentum and inertia. If a driver cuts a truck off, then stops suddenly, the truck will not be able to stop as quickly. This can turn deadly as the truck is unable to avoid crushing the vehicle in front.
Ignoring Your Surroundings
When you are driving it’s crucial to have a very active situational awareness, but it becomes even more important when driving around big rigs. Even with highly-trained and experienced drivers, the trucks can create unpredictable situations.
A common issue is being aware of a truck that may be impacted by the wind while in a neighboring lane. Since the trailers are so large, they are highly affected by highway winds and may shift suddenly. Being aware of this can help you stay safe if the unexpected happens.
If you are involved in a car accident and need legal help contact our office today for a free consultation.