It’s just a fact of life that you will have to deal with tractor-trailers and large commercial trucks when you drive in Texas. Tractor-trailers are massive vehicles, so it is completely normal to feel intimidated or nervous if you are driving near them. Since tractor-trailers weigh thousands of pounds more than passenger vehicles, getting into a crash with one of these giant trucks can have devastating consequences.
When you are sharing the road with tractor-trailers, there are a few things you should be aware of. Due to their size, tractor-trailers can’t stop as quickly or maneuver like most other vehicles. Also, fatigue can be an issue for truckers because they are often behind the wheel for many hours at a time. Here are some things you should avoid doing when you are sharing the road with tractor-trailers.
Never pass on the right
Never pass a tractor-trailer on the right. Tractor-trailers are very long, so drivers usually need to swing wide to the left side of the road to give the truck enough room to make a right turn. You may think that this gap is enough space for your vehicle to pass. However, if you attempt to pass in this gap, the truck could ram into your car if it turns right.
Never linger in blind spots
Tractor-trailers have blind spots on all sides of the vehicle where the driver has limited vision. These blind spots are particularly large along the sides of the truck. If you’re passing or driving alongside a tractor-trailer, make your pass as quickly and safely as possible, and never linger in blind spots. A good point to remember is that, if you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, the driver can’t see you.
Never cut in front of them
Since tractor-trailers are so heavy, they take longer to stop and require more space than other vehicles. Due to this, truck drivers often leave adequate distance between their trucks and the vehicle they are following. Do not see this space as an opportunity to cut in front of the truck. If you merge directly in front of a tractor-trailer and traffic suddenly stops, the tractor-trailer could crush your vehicle.
Never drive carelessly
If you drive carelessly or lose focus when driving near a tractor-trailer, it could end up costing you your life. Give these trucks plenty of room, drive defensively and just use common sense. Keep your eyes on the road in front of you, and never use your cell phone behind the wheel.
Help is available after an accident
In order to legally drive a tractor-trailer, truckers have to complete hours of training and obtain special licenses. Yet, this does not prevent them from making mistakes. Due to deadlines and the demands of their jobs, truckers often drive exhausted. Driver fatigue is a factor in many accidents. If you suffer injuries or the loss of a loved one in trucking accidents caused by negligence, help is readily available.