Getting into an accident with a tractor-trailer is always serious, if not deadly. Much of this is due to the truck’s massive size and weight making a more powerful impact upon a passenger vehicle, leading to severe injury. Yet this is only a part of the picture.
The size and shape of tractor-trailers also contribute to making them so dangerous, as well as other characteristics. There are a few you should be aware of to drive more safely around these vehicles.
They are susceptible to weather conditions
Although semi trucks are very strong, they are not very stable. They easily can tip in extreme winds and are harder to maneuver on slick roads. They already take longer than other vehicles to stop, and on wet roads, tractor-trailers need even more time and space to brake. They also have a harder time maintaining a steady speed going up and down steep hills. Always keep adequate distance between you and a semi to reduce the risk of either of you rear-ending the other.
They make wide turns
The long, inflexible trailers make turning difficult. Therefore, big rigs need more room to turn so that the trailer does not hit other motorists or property. Going right is especially challenging because the turn is sharper. Give trucks extra space and the right of way when turning, no matter where you are in relation to them.
They have many blind spots
Tractor-trailers have several blind spots around all sides, sometimes called the No-Zones. Stay out of these sections or else truck drivers cannot see you. This makes it dangerous for both semis and you to change lanes. When passing an 18-wheeler, do so quickly and do not cut in front until you are far ahead.
The driver also can be a factor
Due to the nature of the trucking business, driver circumstances also play a role in the hazards of sharing Texas roads with big rigs. Truckers are more likely to be drowsy, rushed and inexperienced than drivers of other vehicles. Report reckless, distracted or impaired driving to authorities immediately to protect not only you but also all motorists on the road.