How to Be Aware of 18-Wheeler Truck Blind Spots in FloridaJacksonville Accident News
Many drivers have a real fear of driving next to large commercial trucks in Florida and around the country. It isn’t just scary, it is also challenging driving near these massive automobiles. If you are driving behind an 18-wheeler in Florida you cannot easily see around them to assess what traffic is doing in front of the truck. You may be stuck behind a truck and have to constantly adjust how fast you are driving to account for the truck’s varying speeds. Maybe you are going uphill and the truck is driving extremely slowly and then when the road flattens out the truck may speed up, then slam on the breaks if it is going too fast. During high winds, you can clearly see the wavering back and forth of the large trailer which can make you nervous. Overturning trucks happen often from such weather conditions, if they are overweight, not packed in a balanced way, driving too fast, or taking sharp turns.
The size of an 18-wheeler truck can weigh 80,000 pounds while your average passenger vehicle weighs in at only 4,000 pounds. So when a commercial 18-wheeler truck collides with a passenger vehicle in Florida, the devastation is remarkable specifically for the occupants of the smaller car. Most often, when people in a smaller car collide with a commercial truck in Florida, the aftermath is deadly. Medium to heavy trucks that weigh at least 10,000 pounds and more were responsible for 25 deaths in the state of Florida in 2019. Also that year, these trucks caused 115 incapacitating injuries and 429 non-incapacitating injuries.
What are the Blind Spots of 18-wheeler Trucks?
The blind spots that exist when driving near a large commercial truck are vast. These huge areas around a truck are extremely dangerous for other drivers who may be traveling nearby. Being a defensive driver and staying alert can improve your chances of avoiding a collision with one of these imposing vehicles. There are four areas that you should be aware of when you are driving near a large truck and they are:
- Directly in front of a truck. When you are in front of a truck in close proximity, a truck driver is so high up above you that you are invisible to the truck driver. You need to have space between your car and the front of a truck so that when the truck driver peers out of his windshield your car is easily identified. When a truck driver doesn’t see you, they could hit the gas and run right over you.
- Directly behind the truck. The same issue is true behind a truck. When you are traveling closely in the back of a truck, you are also unseen by the truck driver. So if a truck driver slams on the brakes, yet again, you could collide with the back of a truck and essentially smash into or slide right under the truck’s trailer. When a small car gets caught underneath a truck’s trailer this is called an underride accident. Underride accidents in Florida tend to be very severe and result in catastrophic injuries and death for the occupants of the passenger vehicle. Every year in the United States, these deadly accidents are responsible for the death of more than 300 people.
- Driving near the truck drivers’ side. Driving very closely to the side of the truck where the driver sits also renders your vehicle hidden from the sight of the truck driver. Here too, with the height of the truck driver being so far above your car, it is impossible for the truck driver to look down and see you.
- In the front of the truck close to the passenger side. When a truck looks to their right and out the winder there is no way they will see your car if you are directly next to the front portion of the truck right next to the passenger seat.
How Can You Travel Safely Near Large 18-Wheeler Trucks in Florida?
Once you know where the blind spots are on an 18-wheeler truck in Florida it becomes much easier to identify these risky locations. Then when you are driving near a commercial truck, which at some point, is going to happen, you can try to stay away from traveling in these blind spots to reduce your risk for an 18-wheeler truck accident. One of the most important actions you can take driving in a smaller car when near 18-wheeler trucks is to stay out of their blindspots if you can manage it. There are times, certainly, where traffic is such that it is impossible to change your location. However, when you can, ensuring you are visible to a truck driver is critical.
To drive safely around 18-wheeler trucks in Florida you should consider:
- Always provide space between you and the truck if you are going to pass and then maintain a good amount of distance once you are in front of the truck.
- Do not tailgate. This is true for driving behind any car but because of the monumental dangers of large trucks, leave enough space between you and the truck you are driving behind.
- If you have to drive in a truck’s blind spot, continually be looking for an opportunity to safely move from that location.
- Stay keenly alert when near a truck. Be prepared that a truck driver may not see you. Navigating near a truck should be done with extra caution and care.
One rule of thumb that can make determining your location near a truck easier, is if you cannot see the truck driver, then you can bet that he or she also cannot see you.
Speak with a Jacksonville 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney Today
The Jacksonville 18-wheeler accident attorneys at Sheftall Law have extensive experience managing complex commercial truck accident claims in Florida. The aftermath of large truck accidents in Jacksonville many times means very high settlements because of the substantial damages that these accidents cause. You deserve to get all of the monetary compensation you can from your personal injury claim and the Florida truck accident attorneys at Sheftall Law will fight on your behalf to best position you to do so. Call Sheftall Law today to schedule a free consultation at (904) 638-7712.