Think back to when you were 15 or 16 years old. Are you able to remember your driver’s education course? If you can, chances are you recall learning the general rules of the road, how to drive with your hands at 10 and 2 and, worst of all, parallel parking. What most people don’t recall is learning how to drive safely around big rigs.
In fairness, we are taught to drive defensively no matter the situation we are in. What few, if any, are taught, are the safety procedures that should be enacted when driving around semi trucks. Knowing how to share the road with big rigs can help save your life. Here are a few things about 18-wheelers that you may never have been taught.
1. Blowouts are Common
How many times have you driven down the highway and seen scraps of tires littering the shoulder? Tire blow outs are more common than you may think. Avoid driving for a lengthy time next to a semi. There’s a good chance that shards of tire can come flying at your vehicle.
2. Trailers are Sails
Sure, trucks are heavy. That doesn’t mean that they are impervious to being blown by the wind. In fact, trucks have a large surface area, making them more prone to blowing. Don’t be surprised if a semi drifts into your lane during a wind storm.
3. Surrounded by Blind Spots
There are four “no zones” around a big rig. These are directly in front and back of the truck and to either side next to the cab. Don’t mess about when you are passing a semi. Put your foot down and get past it as you safely can. Try to avoid getting on the side of a semi near on-ramps. If they have to suddenly move over to let a car in, you could find yourself pushed off the side of the road.
4. Stopping is Slow
Never cut off a semi truck. It can take a loaded semi the length of three football fields to come to a complete stop when traveling down the highway. Put a few hundred feet between you and the truck before you decide to get in front of it.
Sharing the road is something that we all have to do. Knowing how to share it safely can help ensure that you get where you are going without injury.
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Charlotte, our team is here for you. We will review the details of your accident at no cost to you or your family and advise you of the options available to you. Call now for assistance.