Texas sees more than its share of commercial truck accidents, and the growing demand for consumer goods means that the number of heavy trucks on our roads continues to grow. When you get behind the wheel of your car in Texas, you share the road with big rigs. By educating yourself about how these tractor-trailers operate, you improve your chances of staying safe out there.
Stop Right There
Cars come equipped with ever more powerful braking systems that allow them to practically stop on the dime when necessary. Trucks, on the other hand, require significant a distance to come to a complete stop. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicates that a commercial truck traveling at highway speeds on good roads and in good driving conditions needs almost the length of two football fields to make a complete stop (this distance naturally increases with bad weather and/or on damaged roads). If you whip your car in front of a semi and then need to hit your brakes, there’s simply nowhere for that truck to go.
A Little Room Here?
Because commercial trucks are obviously many, many times larger than cars on the road, it’s apparent that they need more space for maneuverability. These giant vehicles simply cannot (and should not) squeeze into smallish spaces or make tight turns. As a result, you should give large commercial vehicles plenty of room. It’s always safest to yield to tractor trailers, to avoid speeding past them as they prepare to turn; and to avoid outmaneuvering them when changing lanes. Pay attention to what big rigs are doing on the road and drive accordingly – this is especially true when they’re making turns.
Can You See Me Now?
Truck drivers sit high above the road, and it gives the misguided impression that they can see everything that’s happening around them. In fact, the opposite is true and semi drivers experience huge blind spots or no zones around their trucks:
- Directly behind the truck’s trailer;
- Directly in front of the truck’s cab; and
- On both sides of the truck’s cab (the right side’s no zone is significantly larger than the left’s).
For safety’s sake, it behooves you to spend as little time in these no zones as possible. When you do pass a big rig, make sure that you can see that truck fully in your rearview mirror before you merge back into the truck’s lane.
By following these guidelines for safely sharing the road with commercial trucks, you better prepare yourself to drive safely amongst the growing number of tractor trailers on the road.
Contact an Experienced Houston Commercial Truck Crash Lawyer Today
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a semi accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you need a knowledgeable Houston lawyer with experience in big-rig wrecks.
At Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at law, we’ve been in the business for over 20 years and we’re here to help. We’ll thoroughly investigate your case, work with the insurance company to obtain your rightful compensation, and when necessary, file a lawsuit on your behalf. If you’ve been involved in a semi collision, don’t hesitate to give our team a call at 800-898-4877. Your consultation is free, and you won’t pay anything until we obtain compensation on your behalf. CLICK HERE to see Stewart interviewed as an authority on trucking accident cases by Mike Papantonio on his national news program, “America’s Lawyer.”