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5 Ways to Avoid a Semi-Truck Accident in Your Car

The American Trucking Association found that in accidents involving cars and trucks, 80% of them were caused by car drivers. Because of this, you must learn how to avoid a semi-truck accident while you are driving your car. 

Do you want to learn more about how you can practice safe driving and prevent a car accident with a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle? Keep reading these 5 tips to avoid a commercial accident. 

1. Stay Out of Blind Spots

One of the most important things that you need to be aware of to avoid a vehicle accident with a semi is their blind spots. While every car has blind spots, semi-trucks have larger blindspots in several different places. 

Semi-trucks have a blind spot on the driver’s side of the truck that extends out one lane. They also have a 30-foot blind spot in the rear of the truck that is the width of the trailer. Finally, semi-truck drivers are not able to see on their passenger side or the front of their cab. Because there are so many blind spots, you need to be careful driving anywhere near a semi-truck.

The length of the truck you are driving next to can help you understand just how big their blind spots can be. Because a semi-truck does not have a rearview mirror, the only way they can see people in other lanes of traffic is by using their side mirrors. 

To avoid a semi-truck accident, it is best to change lanes next to a semi when you are completely in front of or behind them. You also should avoid passing a semi-truck on its right side. Because drivers in the United States drive on the left side of the car, it can be much more difficult for truck drivers to see the right side of their vehicle. 

It is safer to assume that semi-truck drivers cannot see you. This way, you will be more cautious as you drive near a truck driver. 

2. Give Them Plenty of Space

Next, you want to always give truck drivers plenty of space. This is something you need to remember when you are following a semi-truck or even when you are passing them. 

As was mentioned before, semi-trucks do not have a rearview mirror. If you are tailgating a truck, you will not have enough time to react if the truck driver suddenly stops or if another emergency occurs. 

Tailgaiting can result in your car getting caught under the trailer of the semi-truck. 

You also need to make sure you have plenty of space when you change lanes in front of a semi. Generally, you want to be able to see both headlights of a semi-truck in your rearview mirror before you get into their lane. Because semi-trucks take so much longer to slow down, this can prevent you from causing an accident or getting rear-ended by a semi-truck.

3. Watch Out for Wide Turns

Many people do not realize that truck drivers need a lot more space to complete a turn. Most trucks have a sign on the back of their truck that cautions other drivers of their wide right turns

Some trucks will even have signs saying that you should not pass a turning truck. This is because a truck turning right will not be able to turn as tight as other vehicles. The long trailer following the front of the truck will need more room. Otherwise, it may hit a curb or a pedestrian. 

Because of this, truck drivers will generally give themselves a few extra feet on the right side of their truck when they are turning. Some cars see this opening and think that they can quickly turn before the semi-truck. However, this often results in accidents as it puts the cars in the blind spot of a semi-truck. 

To prevent accidents, make sure you give semi-trucks plenty of room, especially when they are turning!

4. Pass Trucks Quickly

If you have to pass a semi-truck, you want to make sure you do it as quickly as possible. While you want to avoid speeding on the highway, you also don’t want to linger in the blind spot of a semi-truck driver. First, they may not realize that you are driving next to them and they may merge into your lane. 

Semi-trucks may also have tire blowouts on the freeway, which could cause them to swerve into your lane. When you pass trucks quickly, you will keep yourself out of danger in these situations. 

5. Never Try to Beat a Truck

Finally, you never want to try to beat a truck. Whether a truck is going to pass you or merge in front of you, trying to be faster than the truck can result in serious injury and even death. 

It is always best to let a semi-truck pass you rather than trying to prove that you had the right of way. Rather than speeding up to avoid getting caught behind a slow driver, let the truck in front of you!

Been in a Semi-Truck Accident? Find a Lawyer to Help

When you are involved in a semi-truck accident, you may feel overwhelmed. Whether you suffered physical or financial damages, you can find a lawyer to help you with your case. If you are looking for a lawyer that specializes in automobile law, Georgia Auto Law can help you!

Contact our team today to learn more about our car accident, truck accident, or commercial accident services or to consult with our accident experts!

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