Semi-trucks are incredibly large. Information from the Federal Highway Administration indicates that these vehicles can reach lengths of up to 75 feet and weigh 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. When you are operating a smaller vehicle, particularly on the highways or freeways, you will inevitably share the road with a larger semi-truck. There are various ways to safely share the road with these larger vehicles so that you and your passengers can remain safe at all times.
Practice Defensive Driving and Maintain Distance
We learn about defensive driving from the moment we get behind the wheel as teenagers. Defensive driving means being aware of your surroundings and the actions of other drivers on the roadway so that you are ready to perform evasive maneuvers, should the need arise. Regardless of how long you have been driving, it is crucial to remain vigilant when operating near commercial trucks. You should know where the truck is, what lane they occupy, and be aware of the truck driver’s actions at all times.
Never Cut Off a Larger Truck
You should never cut off any vehicle on the roadway. This is particularly true for larger trucks. Many individuals do not think twice about moving into a lane right in front of a larger vehicle, and this could lead to disaster. Semi-trucks and other commercial trucks on the roadway weigh much more than other vehicles, and it takes them longer to stop. In order to avoid being rear-ended by a commercial truck, you should never pull in front of the vehicle until you can see the entire truck inside of your rearview mirror. When you do change lanes, make sure to use your turn signals.
Stay Away from Blind Spots
It is critical for you to stay out of a large truck’s blind spots. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) refers to large truck blind spots as “No-Zones,” and these areas are directly in front of and behind the trucks as well as along each side. Traveling inside of a truck’s blindspot could lead to a severe accident if the truck driver changes lanes or makes a sudden stop.
Pass Quickly but Safely
You may have to pass a larger truck on the roadway. If you have to do so on a roadway with multiple lanes going in the same direction, you should pass the truck on the left side and do so as safely and quickly as possible. When you are passing a larger truck, do not linger on either side of the vehicle, as this will leave you in a blind spot situation.
Use Your Turn Signals and Turn Off High Beams
When you are operating around larger commercial trucks during the evening or nighttime hours, you need to leave your high beams off when you are near a large truck or passing one. Using high beams can cause your lights to reflect in the driver’s mirrors, which can temporarily blind them.
Contact a Lawyer for Help
If you or somebody you love has been in an accident with a larger commercial truck, you need to work with a New Mexico truck accident attorney to ensure you recover compensation for your medical bills and property damage expenses. These claims can become challenging, particularly when you have to go up against the trucking company and their well-funded insurance carriers.