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Why driving big 18”-wheeler trucks is so dangerous

Have you ever driven in the middle lane between two 18-wheeler trucks? You know how nervous it makes you feel, irrespective of your driving experience.

An accident can occur within a twinkle of an eye if a driver makes even a tiny mistake. Accidents involving small cars and 18-wheeler trucks can be fatal. Occupants in small cars often get severe injuries or die more than in trucks.

In 2018, 4136 people died in accidents involving trucks, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Of those deaths, 16% were super trucks occupants. About 67% were occupants of other vehicles.

When navigating through the busy highways, be on the lookout and stay safe. Read on to know how to exercise extra caution when sharing the road with a super truck.

Truck Length and Weight

An 18-wheeler weighs 80,000 pounds, while a standard passenger vehicle weighs 3,500 pounds. Accidents between a large truck and a small car will result in the smaller car taking the bigger hit.

Besides observing the weight, the loads in the trucks should be well-distributed. If the vehicle becomes unbalanced, the driver has a hard time maneuvering it.

The large truck is 48 feet long, which is challenging to maneuver. Most drivers may misjudge the length of an 18-wheeler truck. If you want to overtake a car, it is safe to give yourself enough space. Also, have a better view ahead for any approaching vehicles.

Accelerate and Stop Distance

18-wheelers take longer to accelerate and stop compared to a passenger vehicle. A passenger car may need 300 feet to stop; a semi-truck may need twice this distance.

If traffic keeps starting and stopping often, an 18-wheeler may find it hard to rear-end the car in front of them. To avoid such situations, maintain ample space between you and the truck when in traffic. And, if possible, change lanes so that the truck doesn’t stay behind you.

Blind Spots

Accidents resulting from blind spots are common.

An 18-wheeler has blind spot danger areas on the front, back, and both sides of the truck. When you are changing lanes or overtaking a truck, remember to observe reasonable tailing distance. Also, when you change lanes, leave your blinker on not less than 10 seconds to ensure that the truck driver sees you.

Never try to swerve around an 18-wheeler truck!

Fatigue

Truck drivers go many miles without resting. When sharing the road with them, be cautious as they may not be alert as you.

What Should a Licensed 18-wheeler Know?

To ensure the safe operation of other road users, a truck driver should:

  • Have enough rest, as stated by the US Department of Transportation
  • Be aware of their surroundings, and know if there are any changes in the road conditions
  • Use brakes and turn signals effectively as you observe traffic rules
  • Stay away from alcohol and harmful substance use

Involved in an Accident?

An accident can take a toll on your mind and body. Get help and support from us.

Contact us at Franklin D. Azar & Associates, PC, to take care of your accident case. Our Colorado car accident attorney can review your case as you heal from the accident trauma.

With our legal team on board, be sure to get maximum compensation to help you get back on your feet again!

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