How to Avoid Danger Zones Around Semi-Trucks
Traffic presents all kinds of challenges, but those challenges increase when driving around semi-trucks, typically because of their large size, heavy loads, and increased blind spots.
When driving around semi-trucks, it’s important to understand how to properly navigate around them. Pope & Howard, a truck accident law firm in Atlanta, GA, wants to help the local Atlanta community and clients stay safe on the road. Consider the following safety recommendations to help you avoid danger zones around semi-trucks, and if you or someone you love has been injured in a serious, catastrophic truck accident, call us to discuss your options.
Give Semi-Trucks Plenty of Room on the Road
Semi-trucks have larger blind spots than the typical sedan or SUV, which means driving behind a semi requires additional safety measures.
Directly behind a semi is a particularly large blind spot, so more than the typical car lengths are recommended when driving behind. This allows the driver to better see you and give clearer brake warnings.
Also, because semi-trucks have so many wheels and less ability to swerve around road debris, they’re also more likely to kick up debris and rocks. A good rule of thumb is to keep 3-5 car lengths of distance between your vehicle and a semi-truck on the road. This is also helpful in rainy or wintery weather and wet road conditions because distance keeps the water spray from semi-truck tires off your windshield, allowing for better visibility.
Give Trucks Room to Stop
Semi-trucks often haul significant weight in their trailers, making it much more difficult to stop quickly. When changing lanes, avoid merging directly in front of semi-trucks and tractor-trailers.
Truck drivers typically try to keep a large amount of distance between them and the vehicle in front of them, which many drivers changing lanes see as an opportunity. However, that space is crucial to allow them appropriate braking room and to keep you and your passengers safe. It’s recommended to keep 20 feet of space or more between you and a semi when merging or changing lanes.
Stay in Sight of Semi-Truck Drivers
While it’s not always possible to know when you’re in the blind spot of a semi-truck, consider the overall size of the vehicles and try to stay in the following areas:
- Ahead of their side view mirrors when driving in the lanes next to the semi
- Behind the last tires when driving in the lanes to the left or right of a semi
- 30 feet directly behind a semi (same lane)
- 20 feet directly ahead of a semi (same lane)
Additionally, when you pass a semi-truck, it’s better to pass on the left side, as that blind spot is smaller than the right side, making it more likely the driver will see you. As much as possible, if driving between two semi-trucks, try to slow down or speed up to get out of their blind spots.
Contact the Truck Accident Lawyers at Pope and Howard in Atlanta, GA
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a truck accident, contact the experienced legal team at Pope & Howard to see if you qualify to seek compensation. We believe in compassionate representation and want to help you get results. Contact us today for a free consultation.