Summer is a popular time for Texans to take road trips across the state, but it can also be one of the most dangerous. While enjoying the company of your road trip companions and dreaming about your road trip destination, it can be easy for drivers to forget the basic precautions necessary when driving near large trucks. These 80,000 pound vehicles require more acceleration and deceleration time than the vehicle you are driving with your friends and family and can have additional blind spots you are not accustomed to looking out for when driving next to other passenger vehicles. Follow the tips below when road tripping this summer to ensure you have a safe and fun vacation.
Since big trucks take twice as long as passenger vehicles to stop, you will want to leave twice as much distance between the back of your car and the front of a big truck when passing. Make sure you are able to see the entire truck before switching into the truck’s lane, and try to maintain at least four cars’ worth of distance between your car and the truck when passing. It is extremely dangerous to pass a big truck and brake immediately after, as a big truck will take much longer to brake than your passenger vehicle, increasing the chances of a rear end accident.
Some people assume that because big trucks have bigger rear view mirrors, that they have better visibility around their vehicle. That is simply not the case. Unlike a passenger vehicle that has two blind spots, big trucks have four blind spot areas: directly in front, directly behind, and on each side, especially on the right side. These blind spots areas are called “No Zones.” Lingering in No Zones can be extremely dangerous, as the truck is unable to see your vehicle. Remember that if you are unable to see the truck driver in his or her rearview mirrors, then the truck driver is unable to see you.
Tailgating in general is a dangerous practice, but tailgating big trucks is even more dangerous. Big trucks will obscure any visibility of the road ahead, so you will not have advanced notice of emergency stops happening in front of you. Additionally, big trucks’ rear bumpers often do not align with front bumpers on passenger vehicles, so there will not be anything to absorb the impact of a collision should you hit the truck in front of you. Always try keep a safe distance between you and the big truck in front of you in order to increase your ability to see the road ahead and your ability to brake in time.
If you have been involved in a collision with a big truck and suffered injuries, give us a call today to speak with an experienced Texas car accident lawyer and find out what remedies may be available to you. Contact us online or at 979-258-6813 to schedule a confidential one-on-one consultation with an attorney.