Semi-trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds with a full load, and the impact can be catastrophic if you are in an accident with one. Fortunately, the defensive driving tips outlined below can prevent many tractor-trailer accidents. Contact our Wisconsin truck accident lawyer at The Law Offices of John V. O’Connor if you have been in a truck accident and need legal assistance.
We all know that semi-trucks are big and heavy, so you should give them more room on Wisconsin roads. However, if you are too close behind a truck, you can have difficulty seeing the road and upcoming hazards. Commercial trucks also change lanes often; being too unnecessarily close to one can create unnecessary risks.
Also, some truckers forget to secure their loads properly; their freight could fall onto the road and become deadly obstacles. Therefore, you should give more room to semi-trucks than you give other vehicles whenever possible.
Many people think most truck accidents happen on interstates, but they also occur frequently on surface roads, especially at busy intersections. In addition, most large trucks will swing out a large distance when turning and may consume more of the road than you expected. So, wait until the truck has finished its turn before you turn or enter the same intersection.
Commercial trucks have large mirrors on the left and right, but trucks still have blind spots. So it is especially crucial to avoid being too close in front and rear and spend as little time as possible on the sides of the trailer. Always remember, the driver cannot see you if you cannot see them in their mirrors.
It is best not to linger on the left or right of a tractor-trailer, so pass as quickly as you can without breaking the law. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a helpful infographic showing where a truck’s blind spots are.
It is easy to ‘zone out’ when driving on the highway, but always drive with full attention, especially around trucks. Distracted driving is always dangerous, but it can be fatal if you engage in the behavior near a commercial truck. For example, there have been many accidents in the US where a distracted driver slammed into the back of the truck trailer, causing severe injury or death.
Do you need to pull over on the interstate? Pull over as far over on the shoulder as you can. Some truckers could be distracted and hit your vehicle at high speed. Even better, pull over at a rest stop for the safest break, far away from truck traffic.
Following the tips in this article can help you avoid many truck accidents. But if one happens to you and the other party is negligent, you could be entitled to damages. Please contact our Wisconsin truck accident lawyer at The Law Offices of John V. O’Connor at (262) 605-8400 for a consultation.