If driving near a big rig sets you on edge, you are not alone. Many Texas drivers feel wary of commercial trucks for several solid reasons.
Increasing your awareness of the special hazards trucks may present can help you drive safely and avoid accidents. However, even cautious drivers can sustain accidents through no fault of their own. If you become involved in a truck accident, you may benefit from getting assistance from an experienced attorney who can handle difficult cases.
One important aspect of large trucks is their size. The trailer can obscure the view of the road not only for other drivers but also for the operator of the truck itself. Typical blind zones for a tractor trailer stretch about 20 feet in front, 30 feet in the back and extend diagonally across neighboring lanes. This can especially present risks when you are trying to pass or must travel in the next lane. When about to move into a blind zone, be sure to signal your intent clearly and make sure the truck driver can see you doing so. Remember, if you cannot see the driver in the truck’s side mirror, he or she is likely unable to see you.
Both a truck’s size and its weight increase its inertia, making it more difficult to turn or come to a stop. You never want to cut off a truck or try to slip through when it begins to turn, as the driver may not be able to stop the truck from hitting you.
A truck’s cargo may sometimes cause accidents or increase the severity of a crash. Flammable or toxic contents that spill during a wreck can dramatically increase the resulting destruction. Cargo that comes loose, whether due to a crash or simply because it was poorly secured, can hit other vehicles on the road or create obstacles.
Finally, truck drivers may be more vulnerable to certain types of human error. The stress and long hours on the job increase the risk of fatigue or distraction, which may slow reaction times and lead to disaster.