Sometimes stereotypes are accurate, but often they are far, far off the mark and that is certainly the case when it comes to long-haul truckers. It seems they are almost invariably depicted in the media as drawling, dimwitted dropouts, but the fact is that the vast majority of big-rig drivers are well-educated, totally professional and–bar none–the most courteous and thoughtful drivers on the road. Still big-rig truckers often get bum-rapped for being slow, lane hogs who can’t get out of their own way. But most of that perception is in the minds of drivers who don’t understand the limitations of semi-trailer trucks, and, unfortunately, that lack of understanding costs precious lives each year.
A key challenge to sharing the road successfully is the impression most passenger car drivers seem to have that big rigs can stop, accelerate, and maneuver like cars. The fact is, they can’t. Big rigs require more time to get up to cruising speed, more time to stop, and more space to turn than typical passenger cars. It shouldn’t take a physics professor to understand that. But most car-truck accidents occur because passenger car drivers fail to stay in their lane, run off the road, drive too fast for the conditions, fail to obey signs or signals, don’t yield to the right of way or are simply not paying attention. Very often cars flit around trucks like bees around a flower, not realizing that trucks have big blind spots to either side, behind, and even in front.
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING SAFETY TIPS:
- Pass trucks quickly and don’t linger in blind spots. Those blind spots (areas where truck drivers can’t see you in their mirrors) are larger than you might guess, especially directly behind and on the right (passenger) side of the truck.
- Allow plenty of room for trucks entering the highway or stopping. Remember trucks can’t accelerate or stop as quickly as cars, so don’t pull in front of them until you can see both headlights in your rearview mirror.
- In construction zones, slow down, increase your following, and let other drivers merge.
- Don’t try to be the last one to zoom in front of the truck entering a construction zone, because if you have misjudged the distance the truck can’t stop short to assist you.
- Keep alert and stay free of distractions. Driving a vehicle requires your full attention, and especially when sharing a highway with heavy trucks.
- Drive in accordance with the road and weather conditions. Slow down and turn your headlights on if the weather is bad or visibility is reduced, because trucks can’t avoid you if they can’t see you.
- Move over for stopped and oncoming safety vehicles.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Buckle up for safety – BUCKLE UP!
If you have been involved in an accident with at truck, semi-trailer truck and have suffered a personal injury, CALL the TRIPP LAW FIRM for an immediate case evaluation.