Cars, trucks, motorcycles and 18-wheelers always seem to have trouble sharing the road together. Due to size, speed and driving ability, each of these types of transportation can pose situations on the road that can lead to deadly accidents. Driving near or around an 18-wheeler has been known to cause many drivers to be nervous and stressed.
Accident statistics from 2016 show that nearly 4,000 people died due to crashes involving an 18-wheeler across the United States. Of those fatalities, 66 percent were occupants inside a car and 17 percent were occupants inside the 18-wheeler. This amount of people dying because of a crash involving an 18-wheeler has jumped 27 percent since 2009.
Due to the number of accidents that involve an 18-wheeler rising the last few years, it is a good time to review ways you can avoid getting tangled up with these big rigs out on the roads.
Give them room – When riding near an 18-wheeler, you should remember that those large tractor-trailers are not able to maneuver the same way you can in a car. They may even be carrying a heavy load which will make their stopping distances take much longer. When an 18-wheeler is passing, exiting or turning, give them plenty of room and do your best not to inhibit their path.
Watch for blind spots – One of the most critical places you can put your car when driving along an 18-wheeler is in their blind spot. This is the area along the side, back and front of the truck where the driver is unable to see you. Most people are familiar with the blind spot on the right side where a driver will have difficulty seeing you, but it also includes the first 20 ft. in front of the truck and 30 ft. behind it. The safest driving you can do is to just stay clear of large 18-wheelers while driving. If you need to pass, try to make the pass as quickly as you can.
No sudden moves – You may have the newest and most dynamic car on the road but showing off how well it can handle as you dart in front of an 18-wheeler may not be a good idea. If you need to make a sudden stop after cutting off an 18-wheeler, you may quickly find yourself being overtaken by it. It can also be extremely dangerous to tailgate such a large truck. Since they may not know you are there, any stop or change in speed can cause your vehicle to lodge under the rear of the truck.
Sharing the road with an 18-wheeler is a responsibility you should take seriously, since the repercussions from reckless driving when alongside such a massive truck can result in catastrophic injury or even death. Even if you are driving safely, an accident with an 18-wheeler can happen. If you have been in an accident, contact a personal injury lawyer who may be able to assist you with compensation.