There is a big difference between an 18-wheeler rig and the average automobile. That difference can be as much as 75,000 lbs for a fully loaded tractor-trailer rig. To put this another way, these rigs can be 16 times heavier than the average automobile. What this means for the motorist is that a different set of rules apply when driving around these behemoths.
Treating tractor-trailer rigs like other cars is dangerous. Why? Because their size limits their braking, steering, and ability to see you. They lack the nimbleness of a car and can not compensate well for the mistakes of motorists. They also have vulnerabilities that cars lack such as a susceptibility to getting blown over by strong wind gusts when they pull empty trailers. Here are three tips for driving around them on the highway:
Avoid Cutting Off Trucks On The Interstate
The safe distance for pulling in front of a car does not apply when changing lanes in front of a truck. Cars often get away with cutting in too close because the traffic ahead is not braking. If the car ahead of you suddenly braked, the truck behind you would not have enough braking distance to avoid hitting you. You should wait until you can see both of the truck’s headlights in your rear view mirror before pulling in front of him.
Avoid The Truck’s Blind Spots And Pass Them Quickly
One rule of thumb to remember is if you can not see the driver’s face in his mirror, then he can not see you. Trucks have huge blind spots compared to those of a car. This is particularly true on their right side, which is why you should only pass on their left. When passing a truck, do not linger around too long beside him because he may forget you are there.
Don’t Squeeze By A Turning Truck
Trucks with trailers make very wide turns. When they turn right, it looks as though there is plenty of room to squeeze by them on their right side. Doing this can cause an accident because the driver can only see the side of his trailer in his mirror. When the truck driver completes his right turn, he pulls into the lane to his right which is the one cars often try to squeeze through.
If in spite of careful driving you were involved in an accident because of the actions of a truck, let Chattanooga 18-wheeler accident lawyers put their experience to work for you. Contact us at McMahan Law Firm for a free initial consultation.