Semi trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial trucks cause a considerable amount of devastation on Georgia’s highways. Around Atlanta, especially, we see a large number of dangerous truck crashes that result in fatalities. Atlanta’s highways are some of the most dangerous in the nation.
Since large trucks carry so much weight and sheer force behind them, a smaller passenger vehicle and its occupants almost always receive the brunt of the resulting devastation when an accident occurs. Big rigs are also large, noisy, and make wide turns. It’s unsurprisingly common for drivers to feel unsettled or uncomfortable when driving next to large trucks.
One way to become more comfortable with driving near large trucks is to employ defensive driving techniques that may help you avoid a potentially-dangerous crash. Doing so can help you feel more confident in your ability to drive safely and protect the occupants of your vehicle. Here are 4 tips for driving safely around semi trucks in Georgia:
Allow for Extra Space
Commercial trucks require extra room to stop, slow down, and make turns. Between a semi’s cab and trailer, a large truck requires a turning radius of approximately 55 feet when making turns on city streets and highways. When coming to a stop, large trucks also often roll back a bit. Give trucks ample room for maneuvering. Follow at a safe distance, and be patient when waiting for trucks to turn or come to a complete stop.
Learn to Pass Safely
When passing a large truck, pass on the left-hand side. Ensure you can see the driver in your mirrors, signal early, refrain from lingering in the truck driver’s blind spots, and pass when you’re far enough ahead so the truck is clearly visible in your rearview mirror. This guarantees that the truck driver will notice you.
Avoid Blind Spots
Semi trucks have massive blind spots which are sometimes referred to as “no zones”. To avoid these blind spots, you’ll want to stay more than 30 feet behind large trucks whenever possible as well as avoid one lane to the truck’s direct right-hand side and two on the left-hand side. Remember, if you can’t see the driver in your mirrors, they can’t see you. Avoid situations where truck drivers cannot see you.
While it’s natural to feel nervous when driving next to semi trucks, keep in mind that most accidents can be avoided if drivers follow laws, follow the natural flow of traffic safely and confidently, and focus on the task of driving. Do your part to exercise the necessary precautions. This will help you gain more confidence when driving near semi trucks and other large vehicles.
For more information on how dangerous truck crashes could be avoided in the U.S., see another blog we recently published. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a truck accident that resulted in serious injuries, Bey & Associates is here to help. Our Georgia law firm can pair you with an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer who may be able to help your family get the compensation you need to move forward.