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What are the dangers of driving near semitrucks?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Truck Accidents

Truckers transport goods all across the country. Unfortunately, these large and heavy trucks pose risks to other vehicles on the roads. The size and weight of an 18-wheeler means that it can easily crush smaller passenger vehicles, so it’s imperative that truckers drive safely.

For other motorists on the roadways, understanding the dangers of driving around semitrucks may inspire them to take steps to remain safer.

Limited visibility

Semitrucks have significant blind spots around the front, back and sides. These “no-zones” are areas where the truck driver has limited or no visibility. Smaller vehicles driving in these blind spots risk not being seen by the truck driver, especially when the truck makes turns or changes lanes.

Wide turns

Tractor-trailers require much more room to make turns, especially right turns. They often have to swing wide to maneuver around corners safely. This can pose a danger for smaller vehicles that might be caught off guard by a truck’s turning radius. Drivers should give trucks ample space at intersections and avoid moving alongside a truck that is preparing to turn.

Stop time

Due to their size and weight, semitrucks take significantly longer to stop compared to passenger vehicles. If a semitruck is forced to brake suddenly, vehicles following too closely may not have adequate time to stop, which comes with the risk of a rear-end collision.

Crosswinds and air displacement

Large semitrucks can create strong air currents as they travel at high speeds, which can impact the stability of nearby smaller vehicles. Crosswinds can exacerbate this effect, making it difficult for other drivers to maintain control. This is particularly dangerous on high-speed roads or open areas with more severe wind conditions.

Tire blowouts

Truck tire blowouts are a common hazard on roadways. When a truck tire fails, it can send large pieces of rubber debris flying into the roadway. This debris can cause drivers to swerve unexpectedly or lose control, leading to accidents. Additionally, the immediate reaction of a truck driver to a blowout might include sudden deceleration or veering.

Individuals who are struck by a semitruck may need emergency medical care. If they have catastrophic injuries, long-term care may also be necessary. All of this can be costly, so they may benefit from pursuing a compensation claim from at-fault parties to help offset those expenses.