1. Avoid blind spots. Tractor-trailers have much larger blind spots than a typical car. The rule of thumb is that if you cannot see the driver in the truck’s mirror, assume that the driver does not see you either. Of course, you may have to enter a blind spot when passing a tractor-trailer but do so with extra caution and move quickly to avoid staying in a truck’s blind spot for longer than necessary.
2. Pass safely. We just discussed moving quickly through blind spots when passing, but there are a few other things to remember as well. Before moving back in front of a truck after passing, make sure you can see the truck in your rearview mirror and then give it some extra space; remember, trucks can’t brake as quickly as cars so you want to leave extra space between your vehicles. Did you know buses and trucks take 40% longer to stop? Also, do not pass trucks when they are going downhill and picking up speed. And of course, you should never use the right lane to pass any vehicle, trucks included.
3. Watch out for wide turns. Large vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, need extra room to turn. This means they could turn from the middle lane, rather than the right lane to get the extra space they need. Always be aware of a truck’s turn signals and leave room to allow them to maneuver safely.
4. And of course, always buckle up and never drive fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Personal injury cases involving commercial motor vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, can be very different from a typical car crash case. They can cause more damage and injury due to the nature and size of the vehicle. Keep these tips handy to stay safe and share with your family and friends.