You probably see 18-wheelers almost every day as you commute or go about your life, and it is normal if they strike a bit of fear into your heart. These trucks are quite huge compared with your passenger vehicle. The fact is that the men and women steering large trucks do not have an easy job. The work they do can put them at higher risk for fatigue, for example, and truck driver fatigue can unfortunately lead to serious crashes.
When you're in your own car, there is not much you can do about fatigued truck drivers, but you can protect yourself in a few ways. Let's consider a few safety tips.
Drive as you hope truckers would drive.
That is, refrain from texting while driving, and keep the soda and snacks for later so you do not risk being distracted. After all, you would not want truckers to text while driving. The same principle applies to driving after drinking alcohol, driving while sleepy and so on.
Give everyone plenty of space.
There are multiple blind spots around trucks, so drive with a large cushion of space around your vehicle. Another advantage of this approach is that you give everyone more time to stop or move in the event that the truck merges, brakes or needs to reverse. For one thing, large trucks can take as much as 40 percent longer than a car to come to a complete stop.
In other words, if you see a trucker about to merge on the highway, it is best to slow down rather than to speed up in hopes of beating the truck. Patience goes a long way, so avoid cutting in front of trucks, and do not pass a truck turning right or you could get squeezed.
Be extra careful in construction zones.
Work zones can be particularly dangerous places when it comes to cars and large trucks. Follow the posted speed limits, and pay close attention to any tractor-trailers near you.
What to Do If You Are in an Accident
If you do suffer injuries in a collision with a large commercial vehicle, your first concern should be getting the medical care you need. Next, talk to a personal injury lawyer with experience in handling truck accident claims. These types of crashes can be significantly more complicated than collisions that involve only smaller vehicles, and it's important to have an experienced legal representative on your side to ensure that you receive the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.