Semitrailers, tractor-trailers, commercial haulers -- no matter what you like to call them, sharing the road with them can be intimidating. If you've seen an accident involving one of these monster machines, you have witnessed just how much damage they can do in a matter of seconds. Driving safely with these trucks around is possible. It just requires some thought and care.
On average, 3,000 to 4,000 people in the United States die in collisions with tractor-trailers every year. Many more suffer injuries in such events. It is possible to avoid collisions with these trucks, but how can you do that exactly? It is simple: follow these rules.
Rule number one: Take care when passing
Semitrailer drivers have very limited visibility. They may not see you if you are trying to pass. In order to ensure a safe passing, experts recommend that you only make your move on the left side of the truck, do not cross double yellow lines and do not cut off a truck when re-entering its lane.
Rule number two: Give space
The sheer size and weight of semitrailers makes them difficult to stop. If there is not a good distance between you and one of these trucks and there is a need to stop quick, chances are, one will hit you.
Rule number three: Common sense is key
When driving, it is not possible to control what other drivers are doing. You can only control yourself. You can help avoid collisions with commercial haulers by exercising good driving habits, such as:
- Adjusting and regularly checking mirrors
- Keeping cellphones out of sight and out of mind
- Getting off the road when drowsy
- Driving distraction free
In other words, stay focused, stay alert and make good choices when behind the wheel.
If an accident does happen
If you or a loved one do end up suffering injuries in an accident with a commercial hauler, despite doing everything under the sun to safely share the road with it, you may have the right to seek compensation for any resulting losses -- such as medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and various others that may be economic or non-economic in nature. In order to do so, it is necessary to establish truck driver negligence contributed to the event. One can do this in a number of ways.