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How to safely share the road with tractor-trailers

It's important to be as safe as possible when sharing busy highways with tractor-trailers. Motor vehicle accidents can occur when drivers of passenger cars are not aware of the unique risks of driving near larger vehicles. Tractor-trailer drivers have to deal with certain limitations that other drivers don't. Learn about these driving conditions and how you can be a safer driver around tractor-trailers.

Be aware of the no-zones

Every vehicle has blind spots, but tractor-trailers have no-zones. These are significantly larger blind spots located at the side and rear of the truck and where the truck connects to the trailer. The best way to stay out of these blind spots is to make sure you can see the driver in the mirrors of the truck.

Stopping takes longer

It is much harder to quickly stop a tractor-trailer than it is to stop a personal passenger vehicle. Avoid passing a large truck or changing lanes around one as quickly as you normally might. Do not pull in front unless you can see the entire front of the tractor-trailer, and when doing so, always use your turn signals to alert the truck driver. If you swerve in front of a tractor-trailer without adequate space or visual indicators, you could easily cause a dangerous situation.

Fatigued drivers

Keep in mind that tractor-trailer drivers tend to get paid by the mile. This causes many drivers to drive longer distances than is ideal for everyone's safety. Many tractor-trailer drivers experience fatigue and drowsiness, resulting in impaired judgment and reduced reaction time.

Be careful in bad weather

When there is high wind, rain or snow, driving near a tractor-trailer can be especially dangerous. Due to the size and weight of the trailers, they can be easily manipulated by the weather. It is common for large trucks to sway in adverse weather conditions. Make sure you allow more distance between you and the vehicle to ensure everyone's safety.

Driving uphill

If you end up behind a tractor-trailer while driving up an incline, you should allow more distance. Larger vehicles have a harder time making it up steep hills. Tractor-trailer drivers may struggle to change gears and the truck may even begin to drift backwards. You want to have enough space to put on your brakes, change lanes or pull over if necessary.

Always remain attentive and courteous when driving near tractor-trailers. Staying focused on the road and alert to drivers around you will make the busy highway a safer place for everyone. Consult an experienced attorney if you are involved in a tractor-trailer accident.

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