Semi-trucks are by far the largest and heaviest vehicles on the road. When these massive vehicles have a full cargo load, they can weigh up to an astonishing 80,000 pounds. That is 40,000 tons! If a large and heavy object travelling at high speeds hits another object, it is a given that there will be extensive damage.
Teenage drivers may not understand risks associated with these vehicles due to driving inexperience and young age. So, it is important for parents to pass along safety information that can help their teenagers avoid a potentially catastrophic truck accident. The following tips may be useful for parents.
Never Drive in a Truck’s Blind Spot
Commercial trucks, also called 18-wheelers, have multiple blind spots. Teach your children where these blind spots are and why they are dangerous. Trucks have blind spots on all four sides that make it difficult for the trucker to see other vehicles. This means if a truck changes lanes or stops, they are not going to see another vehicle in time to avoid a collision. In fact, driving behind a truck that abruptly stops is how underride accidents often occur.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a helpful guide on its website that shows exactly where blind spots are on trucks.
Be Cautious While Passing
Passing a semi-truck requires your full attention. Can you safely pass the truck or is another driver blocking you? Is the truck turning on its signal? These are factors to consider before making a pass.
Never pass a truck by going over a double-yellow line, as it increases the risk of a collision with other vehicles. It’s also illegal.
Don’t Drive Directly Behind Trucks
There are a couple of reasons why it is dangerous to drive directly behind a semi-truck. First and most importantly, the truck’s driver cannot see vehicles in this area. If the truck abruptly stops, it could force the vehicle under the truck’s trailer – even if it has underride guards.
Second, some trucking companies cut corners on performing maintenance or fail to properly load cargo. Pieces of the truck or its cargo could fall into the roadway and strike other vehicles or drivers.
Finally, it is probably going to be impossible to see potential upcoming hazards if a giant truck is blocking the view ahead.
Give Trucks Plenty of Room
It you want to play it really safe, you could tell your teenager to pretend that trucks can crash at any moment – as they can. Truck drivers need a lot of room to stop or regain control of their vehicles if the worst should happen. If your teenage driver is too close to the truck when it encounters a hazard or loses control, then a collision is possible.
Pretend trucks are going to crash at any minute and give them as much room as possible. The further away your teenager is from a large truck, the more time he or she has to take evasive action to avoid a collision.
About Our Nashville Truck Accident Law Firm
You may contact our Nashville truck accident law firm if you or a loved one suffered harm during a truck accident. The Law Office of Stanley A. Davis has extensive experience with personal injury cases, including cases involving auto accidents. You may schedule a free consultation with our Nashville truck accident lawyer by calling (615) 845-6141 or by using our online case review form.