Sharing the Road With Large Trucks: Preventing Accidents on Texas Highways
Sharing the road with other motorists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians is something we deal with on a day-to-day basis, but sharing the road with large trucks adds a whole other level of risk to our daily commutes. Driving with large trucks, in particular, presents an entirely different challenge for those operating any other vehicle.
Large trucks, including tractor-trailer vehicles, can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. They require far more time for acceleration and deceleration than regular automobiles. Additionally, they can have more blind spots than the average passenger vehicle, and those spots can vary in number and location. These factors combined pose a number of risks to others sharing the road. If you operate a regular automobile, the Texas Department of Transportation recommends the following:
Avoid blind spots - Large trucks have multiple front and rear blind spots. It’s important to make sure you can see the driver in the truck’s side mirror. If you can’t see him, then he cannot see you and your vehicle. Do not obscure your view of the road and risk remaining invisible to the truck drivers around you.
Do not follow too closely - Tailgating is extremely dangerous under normal driving conditions, but when you are driving around large trucks, it is especially risky. When a vehicle rear-ends a truck, the collision is almost always severe as large trucks and the weight they pull do not have impact-absorbing bumpers. It is a good idea to leave at least 20-25 car lengths between you and the truck you’re driving around to ensure there is adequate space to see ahead of the truck and to react to any change that might be headed your way.
Exercise caution when passing - Make it a habit of never cutting in front of a truck. If you do need to pass, be sure to check and see if the entire truck appears in your rearview mirror before you move back into the lane. Never underestimate the amount of additional space trucks need to operate on the highway. Large trucks take twice as long to stop and if you cut them off, you run the risk of preventing them from having enough time to stop. The standard rule is to allow at least four car lengths between you and the truck.
Practicing common courtesy and taking special precautions when sharing the road with large trucks can go a long way in preventing serious collisions and helping to keep Texas roadways safe. If you experience an accident with a large truck, contact a professional New Braunfels truck wreck attorney today. Call the Bettersworth Law Firm at 830-606-0404 for a free consultation.