Tennessee roads aren’t too scary, at least not here around Chattanooga. To the east we have some mountain roads and to the west we have lots of highway traffic. On the plateau we get bad weather and sometimes snow. But one of the most dangerous aspects to driving in Tennessee is the number of tractor-trailer trucks on our highways.
Being one of the law firms that assists a lot of local truck accident victims, we can attest to the seriousness of driving well and driving attentively around commercial trucks. Not even the biggest, baddest, street legal pickup truck is a match for an 18-wheeler. So, not matter what you drive, be careful when driving near a box truck, a single- or double-trailer truck.
Always pass a truck on the left. After you pass the truck, don’t cut back in too fast! Of course, all drivers know that passing in the left lane isn’t just a rule for passing tractor-trailers. It’s a rule for passing all vehicles! But, the extra concern about passing when it comes to large commercial vehicles like trucks–especially multi-trailer trucks–is the danger of causing a catastrophic accident! If you pass a large truck at 80 mph and cut back in just two feet from the truck’s cab and then there’s an unexpected road hazard, well, who will be able to stop on a dime? Not a truck! And if a truck hits you from behind at 70 mph, neither you nor your passengers will survive to call a lawyer. Once you pass a truck, be sure you can see both of the truck’s headlights in your rear view mirror before you pull back over into the right lane. That will establish a safe amount of distance between the two vehicles.
Get on with it! It’s fine to linger a bit when passing a Smart Car that’s scooting along in the slow lane, but it is extremely dangerous to linger beside a truck for any length of time. When you’re in the middle of a lengthy drive, that little part of the road right next to a truck and trailer can seem like a nice space in which to get a break from inclement weather or unrelenting sunshine. But, it’s also a nice space in which to be lost because of the driver’s blind spot. If you’ve lingered in a truck’s blind spot, and the trucker changes lanes, neither of you will be able to avoid an accident. If the truck doesn’t hit you, you may still be run off the road or into another nearby vehicle. Remember this rule of thumb: a truck driver cannot see you or your car if you cannot see the truck driver in his side view mirrors.
Trucks aren’t for games. Don’t race them. Don’t play chicken with them. Don’t try to beat them in any way. Be sensible around them in every way. If a trucker is driving carelessly around you, just back off. It’s better to be a little embarrassed about being extra cautious than to be in an accident because you weren’t.
Some accidents are unavoidable, though, even the big ones. We hope you never experience the trauma of an auto accident. But if you or a loved one should get tangled up with a truck, the accident lawyers here at McMahan Law Firm are here for you. Call us immediately, or fill in our easy online form that’s to the right of this blog and tell us how we can help.