How to Safely Share the Road with Semi-Trucks
Semis and other commercial trucks can be intimidating to share the road with when you are riding in a passenger vehicle. Commercial trucks can weigh as much as 20 to 30 times that of a passenger vehicle putting tractor-trailers at 80,000 pounds when fully loaded.
There are precautions and defensive driving tactics to use when you travel alongside semi-trucks to improve road safety for you and your fellow travelers. Keep the following 12 tips in mind whenever you get behind the wheel:
- Stay alert. This tip applies in any driving situation. Do not become distracted by phones, food, or passengers while driving;
- Do not drive drowsy or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol dull your senses making you slow to react or anticipate a sudden stop or road hazard;
- Semi-trucks are slower than cars to start and stop. They may be unable to avoid a collision that you can escape if you are paying attention;
- Stay at a safe distance from semi-trucks. Semis have frequent tire blowouts and are subject to high winds and rollovers. They can also roll backward on a steep incline. It is recommended to keep a four-second following distance between yourself and a semi;
- Avoid a semi-truck’s blind spots. These are the right side, directly in front of the cab, behind the trailer, and areas next to the driver. If you cannot see the driver in their mirror, the driver cannot see you;
- Pass semi-trucks safely and quickly. Do not pass too closely to the truck and do not linger while passing. You could get caught in the driver’s blind spot;
- Do not cut a semi-truck off. A semi-truck needs up to two football fields of length to stop when traveling at highway speeds. If you cannot see the truck’s entire front end, it is not safe to merge;
- Semi-trucks make wide right turns. Stay back. A truck may swing left before making a right turn. Do not get caught in between the truck and the curb;
- Dim your bright lights when approaching a semi-truck from behind. A truck driver can become temporarily blinded by your lights reflecting off of their mirrors for two or more seconds at a speed of 55 miles per hour;
- Use your turn signals. If you do not provide a truck driver notice that you are turning or merging, they may not be able to stop or move over in time to avoid a collision;
- Do not pass semi-trucks on a downhill slope. They may be accelerating rapidly due to their size and weight; and
- Do not pass a semi-truck from the right lane. The driver may be trying to move over to the slower lane, and you may be in their blind spot.
Overall, be courteous and patient, buckle up, and obey Wisconsin’s traffic rules and regulations when sharing the road with semi-trucks. Doing so could help you evade a serious motor vehicle accident.
Injured? Our Milwaukee Semi-Truck Accident Team Can Help
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a semi-truck accident, call Mingo & Yankala, S.C. Our legal team knows the devastating effects semi-truck accidents can have on individuals and their families.
We will review your accident claim at no cost and advise you of your available legal options. Do not wait to contact Mingo & Yankala, S.C. Wisconsin has time limits to file personal injury claims. If you miss your deadline, you cannot recover compensation for your injuries.