It can be intimidating to drive right next to a big-rig or an 18-wheeler. They are huge, weigh about 80,000 pounds and have this scary tendency to drift in and out of your lane. But, sharing the roadway with these large trucks does not have to be daunting and a nightmare. There are steps you can take to stay safe around big rigs and make sharing the road with commercial truck drivers a lot loss tense.
Why Do Large Trucks Pose a Danger?
But first, it is crucial to understand why these large trucks are so frightening and dangerous. The primary reason is their size, weight and the laws of physics. If you crash your 2-ton sedan into a 40-ton truck, it is highly likely that your car will sustain more damage than the semi. As Rhode Island tractor-trailer accident attorneys, we also see that the occupants of smaller passenger vehicles suffer serious or fatal injuries in these types of collisions. Statistics from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) show that in 2012, 67 percent of fatalities in large truck accidents involved car occupants.
A collision with a large truck can lead to an underride or override effect, depending on who crashes into whom. Cars that rear-end large trucks are in danger of sliding under the truck on impact. When larger trucks read-rend smaller vehicles, overrides may occur. Both scenarios can be extremely dangerous. Also, because of their weight and length, it is more difficult to slow down and stop big rigs.
How to Prevent a Truck Accident
There are steps you can take to prevent a collision with a big rig. Here are a few tips:
• Do not take any chances. When a truck is about to move into your lane, your first instinct might be to speed up and get ahead. But this can put you in danger because a truck can't stop as quickly as your car. Cutting in front of a truck and hitting your brakes may very well put you in danger. • Be extra careful when you pass. Give the truck more space than you would give other vehicles you normally pass. • Watch out for turns. Truck drivers may need to swing wide to the left in order to make a right turn. So traveling too close behind a truck may spell trouble. Wait to see if the truck driver intends to turn before making any moves. • Stay away from a truck's blind spots. While truckers have better forward view and bigger mirrors, they still have large blind spots. If you stay in those blind spots, you reduce the trucker's ability to take evasive action. If you can't see the truck driver or his side mirror, he cannot see you. • Never follow a truck too closely. Tailgating a truck or any vehicle is dangerous because you take away your own cushion of safety if the vehicle stops in front of you suddenly.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor-trailer accident, it is important that you immediately seek the counsel of an experienced Rhode Island truck accident lawyer who can help protect your rights and preserve crucial evidence.
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