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Staying Safe When Driving Near Big Rigs

Avoiding Danger When Driving Close to Big Rigs

More and more big rigs can be found on the roadways near Davis, and knowing how to stay safe is important. When a passenger vehicle, which weighs an average of about 3,300 pounds becomes involved in a collision with an 80,000-pound big rig, severe injuries and fatalities often occur. At, we’ve been successfully handling compensation claims against negligent truckers and trucking companies since 1982, so we are well prepared to offer you free advice about your case. In the following paragraphs, we offer tips to make your travels safer when sharing the roadway with a big rig.

Stay Out of a Big Rig’s No-Zones

All big rigs have blind spots all the way around. The problem is that if the trucker decides to change lanes and doesn’t realize a motor vehicle is near, it can end up causing a dangerous collision. The trucker can’t see the vehicle in front or back, and the trailer sides are even worse. Those no-zones can extend on the right-hand side for several lanes over and the entire length of the trailer. The best advice we can give is that the trucker can’t see you if you can’t see him/her in their rear-view mirror.

Never Tailgate Big Rigs

Tailgating is dangerous when following any other vehicle but especially so when a big rig is in front of you. The bigger the vehicle, the more distance it needs to stop. Emergencies can happen too, such as a truck tire blowout or slippery road accident. If the truck stops suddenly, an underride accident can happen, which is often fatal to whoever is in the smaller vehicle. If you happen to be traveling behind a big rig, keeping a distance of about 20 vehicles (or four seconds) means you have time to react if you need to.

Never Drive Between Two Big Rigs

The blind spots in big rigs are not the only problem with driving between two of them, so is wind. Although a big rig being blown over by a cross draft is rare, it does happen and can end up causing a serious accident with a smaller vehicle. 

Don’t Dawdle Next to a Big Rig

If you are pacing a big rig, the driver may not realize or forget that your vehicle is there. Since it takes around 25 seconds for a passenger vehicle to go past a big rig on the highway, it is important to maintain your speed to get by quickly.

Take Road Conditions Into Account

There are a number of road conditions that can affect your safety when driving close to a big rig. In addition to bad weather such as snow, ice, rain, or fog, blind curves can be danger points as well as visual obstructions. Driving after dark can be a problem too. Although big rigs are required to have lights on them, the side of a trailer can disappear from another motorist’s vision if the truck is parked on the side of the road or sticking out into the roadway.

Try Not to Pass a Big Rig at the Top of a Hill

Those who drive passenger vehicles or light trucks may not realize that a big rig speeds up when it’s going down a hill. Of course, this is because of the weight of the vehicle. If you want to pass, it is better to wait until the truck has reached the bottom of the hill and the trucker has adjusted their speed. In addition, a jackknife accident, braking problems, or a rollover from poorly stored cargo is more likely to happen with a big rig on a hill or sharp curve, so keeping your distance is a good idea.

Truck Accident Lawyers in Davis, CA

I’m Ed Smith, a Davis truck accident lawyer. When a negligent truck driver or company is responsible for your injuries, you can find out about filing a claim for compensation. We offer free and friendly advice when you call us at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400. You can also reach us online.

We are honored to be members of Million Dollar Advocates and Top 1 Percent.

Comments by those who we have helped obtain the compensation they deserve following an accident and cases we’ve handled can be found below:

Since 1982, our team of injury lawyers has assisted many people in Yolo County in getting fair compensation for truck and car collisions and in wrongful death cases.

Photo attribution: Image by Schwoaze from Pixabay 

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