4 things you should know about tractor trailers to prevent a traffic accident

by | Jan 20, 2015

The Tennessee roadways are filled with massive tractor trailers that are responsible for transporting essential goods across the state and around the country. While most motorists are somewhat used to navigating around these giant vehicles, drivers who have a better understanding of how commercial trucks operate may be able to prevent a catastrophic accident from occurring. Lebanon tractor trailer accident attorneys know that in some cases, large truck accidents are caused by negligent truck drivers and poorly maintained semi-trucks. There are some behaviors drivers can practice to maximize their safety on the freeway.

  1. Trucks need a greater distance to stop

Tractor trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and may exceed 70 feet in length, making them much harder to maneuver than a traditional motor vehicle, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Semi-trucks require a longer stopping distance to compensate for their length and weight. For example, a car going 55 mph will take an average of 240 feet to come to a complete stop. A tractor trailer, on the other hand, can take 450 feet or more to stop, depending on its exact weight, length and how fast the truck is going. Drivers should avoid pulling out in front of trucks or cutting them off while making lane changes to prevent getting rear-ended in a truck accident.

  1. Trucks make wide turns

Whether tractor trailers pull out wide to make a right or left turn, drivers should give them plenty of room on both sides. Motorists should never attempt to squeeze in the lane between the truck and the curb, but rather should look for the truck’s turn signal and be patient. Lebanon tractor trailer accident attorneys know that getting too close to a turning tractor trailer may cause a devastating truck accident.

  1. Trucks have large blind spots

Tractor trailers have larger-than-normal blind spots, also referred to as no-zones. Truck drivers cannot see vehicles that ride in these zones, which are located behind and on each side of the truck. The largest blind spots occur on the right-hand side and behind the truck. Motorists should not linger in these particular areas in order to avoid truck accidents and truck crash injuries. It is crucial for motorists to understand that if they cannot see the mirror on the side of the tractor trailer, the truck driver cannot see them.

  1. Trucks are bigger than cars

It is important for motorists to remember that a tractor trailer is often four times the size of their vehicle. If a semi is pulling a double trailer, that size difference changes dramatically.  This means tractor trailers need a lot of room when changing lanes or entering freeways. Motorists who try to compete with semis for the same space are not going to win against a vehicle this large.

Whether a large truck operator is driving while drowsy, distracted or impaired, motorists need to stay focused in order to identify the key signs that a truck driver is driving negligently. If a motorist is injured as a result of truck driver negligence, he or she may want to seek legal counsel from Lebanon tractor trailer accident attorneys as soon as possible.