Any motor vehicle collision has the potential to cause serious and possibly life-threatening injuries. Nevertheless, the likelihood of severe injuries increases if you are in a collision with a large commercial truck.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are several reasons why a collision with a truck poses a unique danger. Fortunately, there are also things you can do to avoid colliding with a tractor-trailer.
Why are truck accidents more dangerous?
An 18-wheeler is significantly larger and heavier than you and your vehicle. Fully loaded, a large truck may weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The more a vehicle weighs, the more force it can exert on your vehicle and your body.
In addition to significant weight, a tractor-trailer also has a large center of gravity, making it more likely to tip over. For this reason, trucks also have to slow down to take a curve or use a ramp. The weight of the vehicle makes both acceleration and braking slower for a truck. You may also experience wind gusts when a truck passes you which can make it more difficult for you to maintain control of your vehicle.
What can you do to avoid a collision with a truck?
When you pass a truck, make sure not to return to your lane too early. A truck needs a stopping distance of up to 200 yards, which is the equivalent of two football fields. Trucks have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles, so try to avoid lingering in them.
To know if you are in the truck operator’s blind spot, try to look in his or her side mirror. If you cannot see the operator’s face, you are not visible to him or her either.