It’s no secret that motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death in Virginia and the United States. Big rigs, or semi-trucks, can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and are often involved in serious accidents. While these vehicles are essential to our economy, it’s important to be aware of the dangers they pose on the road.
Keep your distance
When you’re driving behind a big rig, it’s important to give yourself plenty of space. These vehicles need a lot of room to brake and turn, so tailgating is never a good idea. If you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, then the driver can’t see you.
Don’t cut them off
Big rigs often have to swing wide to make turns, so it’s important not to cut them off when they’re trying to change lanes. For instance, if you’re merging onto the highway and there’s a truck in the lane next to you, give them plenty of room to merge. You should also avoid passing on the right as this can be dangerous.
Be aware of their blind spots
All vehicles have blind spots, but trucks have large ones. One of the most common motor vehicle accidents involving trucks is when a car tries to pass on the right and gets caught in the truck’s blind spot.
Use caution when passing
When you’re passing a big rig, make sure you use your turn signal and give yourself plenty of room. For instance, if you’re passing on the highway, make sure that there’s no one in the lane next to you.
Be aware of their stopping distance
Big rigs need a lot of space to stop, so it’s important to give them plenty of room. If you’re driving behind a truck and they have to brake suddenly, you could be involved in a serious accident.
While it’s not always possible to avoid trucks on the road, it’s always wise to use caution when driving around them. Besides the tips above, always be aware of your surroundings and never drive while fatigued, intoxicated or distracted. If you ever find yourself in an accident with a big rig, make sure to seek medical attention immediately.