How to drive safely around large trucks

There are several habits motorists can implement when driving around large trucks in order to avoid a tragic accident.

Motorists in Tennessee and across the nation may be familiar with driving alongside large tractor trailers on a daily basis. Since tractor trailers are so common on the country's roadways, people may forget how dangerous these massive vehicles are and the hazards they present to motorists. Weighing up to 80,000 pounds and having up to three trailers, large trucks dominant the highway. It is crucial that people motorists understand how to navigate safely around big rigs to avoid becoming injured or killed in a serious truck accident.

Beware of blind spots

Although all vehicles have blind spots, the area surrounding a tractor trailer in which truck drivers are unable to see vehicles around them is even larger. In fact, truckers have especially large blind spots behind and to the right of their big rigs. Motorists should avoid traveling in these blind spot areas. If drivers are behind or alongside a large truck, they should pass it quickly and on the left-hand side. Keep in mind that trucks have blind spots directly in front of them as well. When drivers cannot see the side-view mirror of the truck, the trucker generally cannot see them.

Allow for proper braking distance

Since trucks are so much larger and heavier than other motor vehicles, they need a greater distance to brake and come to a stop. In fact, truckers need at least three times the distance as other vehicles to stop. Motorists who pull out in front of big rigs and slow down or slam on their brakes, run the risk of getting rear-ended by a truck. Truck drivers simply cannot stop in time. Never switch lanes in front of a tractor trailer and always give them room to brake properly.

Trucks made wide turns

Motorists who have shared the road with large trucks know that these vehicle often make wide turns, especially right-hand turns. Truckers must pull out wide before turning their big rig into a lane. Drivers should avoid pulling up directly next to a tractor trailer at a stop light, and give the trucks enough room to maneuver around the corner. Cars are often hit because drivers pull up too close or attempt to beat the truck through the light while the truck drivers is attempting to make a turn.

Dealing with the aftermath of an accident

You cannot prevent all truck accidents from happening. Many collisions are the result of truck driver negligence or mistakes made while driving. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a tractor trailer accident, you may want to speak to an attorney in Tennessee regarding your legal options and rights.