According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, each year, thousands of large commercial trucks are involved in motor vehicle accidents. A collision between an ordinary automobile and large tractor-trailer could result in the smaller vehicle and its driver and passengers sustaining severe and potentially fatal injuries. With more and more tractor-trailers sharing Florida roads, it is vital that today's driver take action to remain safe. Here are some ways to avoid tractor-trailer accidents.
Although many of us have heard the phrase defensive driving, we may not think about its meaning. Defensive driving requires that you drive while being aware of the vehicles around you and anticipate the moves they may make. When driving near a tractor-trailer, you can drive defensively by watching how the driver is operating the vehicle and thinking about any of their potential maneuvers. For instance, if a driver is crossing over the line which separates them from the lane next to them, you will know not to drive alongside the vehicle.
Further, if there is a lane closure ahead and the tractor-trailer is going to need to merge, expect that they the driver may begin moving into the lane and avoid trying to pass them. You can also watch for signs that the driver may be impaired such as traveling at an unsafe speed or swerving. If you observe either of these conditions, drop back to give the tractor-trailer as much room as possible and maintain a safe driving distance.
Be Aware of Visibility
Tractor-trailer vehicles have limited visibility meaning the driver will not be able to see other cars at times on the road. There are specific blind spots which, just as with an ordinary vehicle, the driver will need to check before changing lanes or making a turn. When driving near a tractor-trailer, be aware of the zone around the vehicle and avoid being in close proximity to the sides. By staying away from these zero visibility areas, you can reduce your chances of being involved in a collision.
Watch for Wide Turns
When larger commercial vehicles have to make a turn, they need room to maneuver. Otherwise, an ordinary size vehicle could be in the path of the length of the body as it moves into the turning radius. If you are beside a tractor-trailer which is signaling for a turn or is moving into a turn, allow the other vehicle time and space to complete its action. By not advancing forward until after the tractor-trailer has finished, you can help prevent an accident with your vehicle.
Drive Carefully in Adverse Conditions
When the weather is adverse, it creates risks for all drivers. This is especially true for tractor-trailer operators and other drivers on the road with them. If the road conditions are hazardous and make driving difficult, the same is true for the tractor-trailer operator. The tractor-trailer may also be incapable of stopping as quickly and could be susceptible to having its brakes lock if they have to suddenly slow to avoid another vehicle. Treat tractor-trailer vehicles with extreme caution and give them more distance than you would under better driving conditions.
By being aware of your surroundings and driving defensively, you can help avoid being involved in a tractor-trailer collision. Unfortunately, accidents of this nature cannot always be prevented. If you have been involved in a tractor-trailer accident, the dedicated trucking accident attorneys of the Draper Law Office are here to fight for you. We have proven experience with trucking accident cases and will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or at (866) 767-4711 today to set up your free, no-obligation consultation in one of our three locations: St. Cloud, Kissimmee, and Orlando.