Grimes & Fertitta, P.C.

Avoiding crashes with big rigs: 3 helpful tips

One of the most terrifying things to happen on a highway is a collision with a big rig. Large semitrucks are heavy, and crashes with them are devastating. Drivers get pinned in their vehicles, crushed under the weight of the larger trucks. Many end up in serious or critical conditions because of the force of impacts with large trucks.

Drivers must be vigilant about safety when they share the roads with large trucks. These tips can give the trucker time to see you to minimize the risks of collisions.

1. Signal with plenty of time to merge

A problem many truck drivers describe is when smaller passenger vehicles cut into the lane in front of them without allowing them enough time to merge safely. Unlike with smaller passenger vehicles, trucks need more time to slow down. If you merge too closely and aren't up to speed, the truck driver could end up overriding the rear of your vehicle and causing a catastrophic collision.

2. Avoid rapid braking

Along with giving drivers plenty of notice that you intend to merge, you should avoid rapidly braking at any time. Slowing over time reduces the risk of the driver not noticing you slowing down. It also gives truckers more time to brake their big rigs. Trucks weigh much more than passenger vehicles, so extra time is necessary to make sure they can come to full stops and avoid collisions that can leave other drivers with permanent and life-altering disabilities.

3. Stay out of the blind spots

One thing to always remember is that these big rigs have blind spots. Just as with passenger vehicles, there are areas along the sides of the vehicle that truck drivers can't see. Other spots with restricted visual access are directly in front and behind the truck.

Drivers should avoid shifting their positions until they can see the mirrors of the truck, and know that the trucker is able to see them. Never ride alongside a truck. Instead, speed up or slow down to get into a better position and avoid a crash.

If you have been injured in a collision with an 18-wheeler or other commercial truck, it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer.

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