How to stay safe when driving around large trucks

When motorists know how to drive safely around tractor trailers, they may be able to minimize the risk of an accident.

Motorists in Kansas City and across Missouri are somewhat used to sharing the road with tractor trailers. People rely on these massive vehicles to transport goods throughout the country. However, many people are not fully aware of the dangers that big rigs can bring to motorists on the road. Although truck drivers must be properly licensed and qualified to operate a tractor trailer, drowsy, distracted, intoxicated and otherwise reckless truckers present a significant threat to motorists. When people know how to drive safely around large trucks, they may be able to reduce their risk of becoming involved in a devastating tractor trailer accident.

Identifying the dangers

The weight, height and length of tractor trailers alone make these vehicles more difficult to operate in bad weather, heavy traffic and other hazardous conditions. Motorists should understand that large trucks require a longer stopping distance that other motor vehicles. Also, big rigs are more likely to tip over, jack knife and skid in inclement weather, such as high winds, ice, rain, snow and fog. Furthermore, big rigs have larger blind spots that other vehicles, which makes it difficult for truckers to see cars that are traveling close beside them.

Staying safe

In order to stay safe while navigating alongside large trucks, motorists should implement the following driving practices:

  • Keep out of the blind spots, especially on the right-hand side of the truck. Drivers should pass trucks quickly and on the left-hand side of the truck.
  • Allow plenty of turning space. Large trucks make wide turns and should be given sufficient room to complete the turn.
  • Avoid pulling out in front of a truck and applying the brakes. Trucks are not able to stop quickly and may end up rear-ending a vehicle if they are not given enough stopping distance.
  • Drive defensively. Trucks may make sudden moves or experience equipment failure that could spell disaster for unsuspecting motorists.

Motorists should keep in mind that truckers may not be able to see their vehicle, and should be prepared to react quickly.

Obtaining legal advice

People who have been involved in a large truck collision can obtain serious injuries, including spinal cord damage, brain trauma, lacerations and broken bones. An attorney in Missouri may be able to help provide legal counsel to victims of tractor trailer collisions. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages from work and emotional trauma that you've experienced as a result of the accident. A lawyer may be able to answer any questions you may have regarding your case.

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