Sharing the road with a semi-truck can be challenging, especially when traffic is heavy or road conditions are bad. In this post, our Missouri truck accident lawyers provide five tips to help you avoid being involved in an accident with a large commercial vehicle.
Preventing semi-truck accidents: Five tips for Missouri drivers
1. Pay attention. Of the thousands of car accidents that happen in the United States every year, very few are unpreventable. In fact, all too many of these accidents occur simply because drivers aren't paying attention - a mistake that can be deadly, especially if you're traveling near a large truck. Put away your phone, have a passenger tune the stereo, and don't be a rubbernecker - someone who gets distracted by objects or happenings outside their vehicle, like another car accident. Keeping your eyes - and your focus - on the road can go a long way toward preventing many serious accidents.
2. Don't linger in a large truck's blind spot. Annually, experts say over 413,000 accidents are caused by blind spots, and specifically, one-third of fatal accidents involving a passenger vehicle and a semi occur within a semi's large, dangerous blind spots, which are known as "No Zones." These spots are located to the left and right of the truck's cab, immediately in front of the truck, and behind the trailer. Here's a good rule of thumb: if you can't see a truck's mirrors, the driver can't see you. When you're passing, following, or changing lanes near a semi, be mindful of the truck's blind spots and proceed with caution.
3. Don't cut off a semi-truck. Because they are large and extremely heavy, semi-trucks require twice as much time and space to stop than average passenger vehicles , and that's when roadway conditions are good. If you cut in front of a semi, the driver may be simply unable to stop in time to avoid a collision.
4. Be predictable and use your signals. Since truck drivers need extra time to react to roadway hazards, you can help make the road safer by making your intentions clear and predictable. Maintain a consistent speed, pass on the left side, and be sure to signal in advance (at least three full seconds) before turning or changing lanes.
5. Be respectful of other motorists, including truck drivers. A little common courtesy can go a long way. Remember that everyone on the road is trying to get from Point A to Point B: stay calm, be patient, and make safety your top priority.