Increasing Texans' Awareness of Tractor Trailers

Freightliner TruckDRIVERS IN TEXAS CAN LOWER THEIR RISK OF A TRUCK ACCIDENT BY EDUCATING THEMSELVES ON HOW A SEMI OPERATES.

Granbury’s close proximity to Fort Worth means drivers often encounter tractor trailers and the number of these big rigs is increasing. The Commercial Carrier Journal states that growing demand of goods and services will generate an increase of heavy trucks on American roads that will last till at least 2025.

Driving around these big rigs can be scary and many drivers can recount near misses with tractor trailers that were being operated by negligent drivers. The Texas Department of Transportation reported that commercial motor vehicles, which includes tractor trailers, were involved in more than 33,000 crashes last year. However there are things that drivers can do to educate themselves on these big rigs and reduce their risk of colliding with one.

STOPPING DISTANCE

Many cars today come with powerful braking systems, enabling drivers to almost stop on a dime in unexpected situations. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance explains a tractor trailer travels about two football fields before it will stop if it is moving at 55 miles per hour. It should also be noted that this example is for situations where there are no weather factors and the road is an excellent surface. If there is bad weather or the roads are wet, it will take the truck even longer. When cars slip in front of the tractor trailer and then have to slam on their brakes, there is nowhere for the truck to go.

MORE ROOM PLEASE

It is obvious that tractor trailers are much longer and larger than a passenger vehicle, and this increased size requires a lot of room in which to maneuver in. Tractor trailers cannot squeeze into small spaces or make tight turns. Therefore, it is important for drivers to yield to trucks when they are entering onto a freeway from an onramp, avoid trying to speed past them if they are preparing to make a turn, and avoid trying to beat a truck into a lane.

When making a right turn, a semi often needs to move into the middle or left lane of traffic to avoid colliding with a car on the other road or some stationary object. Sometimes drivers will think they can squeeze by on the right side of the truck and then find themselves cut off when the truck begins its turn.

SIGHT LIMITATIONS

A truck driver’s high perch above passenger cars often gives the impression that the driver can see everything going on around the truck. However, this is far from true as tractor trailers have large blind spots, also referred to as no zones. These zones are located directly behind the truck’s trailer, in front of the truck’s cab and on both sides of the cab, although the right no zone is significantly larger than the one on the left.

Drivers can help truckers see them by avoiding hanging out in these no zones. Furthermore, if drivers pass a truck, they should wait until they can see the trucker in their rearview mirror before they merge into the lane before the truck.

While drivers in Granbury can reduce their risk of getting into a truck accident by increasing their awareness, they cannot defend themselves against a bad driver. Therefore, it may be a good idea to meet with an injury lawyer to discuss legal options if they have been injured.

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