Sharing The Road With Big Trucks

The trucking industry is vitally important to the nation's commercial health. Currently, there are 1.9 million semi-trucks in the U.S. and 3.2 million truck drivers. Big truck accidents are on the rise, causing 3,921 fatalities and 104,000 injuries in 2014. The people in the smaller vehicles make up 78% percent of these fatalities. If you are a motorist, you need to learn how to share the road with these big rigs in order to stay safe. 


Large vehicles cannot stop on a dime, so if you cut in front of them, you are inviting an accident. When traveling at 65 mph, a car or  pickup travels around 316 feet after the driver recognizes a dangerous situation. A semi-truck will travel approximately 525 feet. A fully loaded truck may need the length of three football fields to stop. In other words, you need to give the truck plenty of room. Wait until you have several car lengths of space available before you pull in front of a big truck. Also, try to pass on the left because truckers have more blind spots on the right side. 

No Zones

Although big trucks have numerous mirrors, drivers cannot see everywhere, particularly if you are following too closely behind them. If you are so close to them that you cannot see the drivers' mirrors, then they cannot see you. When you are following these trucks in wet weather, the spray from the road may also impair the drivers' vision.  When you are traveling next to a semi on either side or pull right in front of one, the driver may be totally unaware of your presence. Remember, if a truck pulls into your vehicle, you are the one most likely to be killed

Wide Turns

Truck drivers have to make wide turns, which often swing the trailer into another lane. When a semi is turning, slow down and wait until the turn is complete. Do not try and pass a right-turning truck on the left, or you may end up crashing into the trailer. While executing a turn, truck drivers cannot see you at all as you try and go around them, so they cannot take steps to avoid you. 

Big truck accidents have devastating consequences for car and light truck drivers. The semi-driver is much more likely to come away unscathed if your vehicles collide. You need to remember that a truck driver cannot maneuver his 80,000 lb. vehicle the way you can your compact car or mid-size sedan. When you encounter a big truck, give it plenty of room, or you may become another truck accident statistic. If you do end up in an accident with a truck, contact a lawyer who specializes in trucking accidents, such as Teresa P Williams PA.