Tips For Driving Safely Near Large Trucks in FloridaJacksonville Accident News
Whether you’re driving on the interstates of Florida, or anywhere in the United States, it is inevitable to at some point encounter an 18-wheeler. These large trucks provide transportation for goods and services all across the country, and just the sight or sound of one nearby can be intimidating to anybody who doesn’t know the dos and don’ts of driving around them.
Things to Remember When Driving Near Semi Trucks
- Keep Size In Mind- Always remember that large trucks can weigh more than 16 times than the car you’re driving. They could also be carrying chemicals that could turn any accident into a disaster. Make sure you stay in your own lane while driving near an 18-wheeler, they are wide and need their whole lane’s worth of space in order to drive safely. Trucks need at least 350 feet to come to a complete stop from 60 MPH. If you are too close to the front of a truck and suddenly stop or slow down, the driver will not have enough room to stop or slow down themselves, and a rear-end accident could occur.
- Give a Truck Extra Space- Keep proper distance while driving behind or in front of a truck. If a truck is getting too close behind you, choosing a different lane is your safest option. The heavier a load is, the harder it is for a truck to be handled. Remember that a fully-loaded 18-wheeler takes much more distance than a car does to stop in the case of an emergency. If you’re too close to the rear of a truck, you may not be able to slow down fast enough and become wedged underneath the trailer. This is called an underride. Some trucks have loads that can become unsteady or aren’t properly secured and can fall off the truck, causing catastrophic damage to your vehicle and possibly you. Keeping a safe distance can help you avoid these types of accidents.
- Avoid Blind Spots– A truck has larger blind spots than a car. If you ever question if you’re in a truck’s blind spot, keep in mind that if you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, the driver can’t see you. If you can’t be seen, the dangers of an accident occurring greatly increase. 18-wheelers have blind spots on both sides, and in the front and back. If you’re caught in a truck’s blind spot, your vehicle can become pinned between the and the median.
- Use Common Sense- Whether you’re driving a pickup truck, SUV, car, or 18-wheeler, everybody needs to follow the same laws on the road. Avoid cell phones and other distractions, and regularly check your mirrors. Keeping yourself safe on the road will help others stay safe also.
- Pass With Care- If you need to pass an 18-wheeler, make sure you can see the truck’s mirrors before you pass. Pass promptly and safely, do not linger in a truck’s blind spot. Always pass on the left, and do not cut the truck off by re-entering the lane too close to the front of the truck.
- Avoid Distracted Driving- With today’s technology, it is so much easier to become distracted behind the wheel. Texting while driving increases the time spent with eyes off the road by 400 percent and has caused one out of four accidents in the United States each year. The National Safety Council has reported that general cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million accidents per year. While driving around an 18-wheeler, being distracted greatly increases your chances of an accident.
Motorcycles And Large Trucks
Motorcycles fare even worse than passenger cars when it comes to 18-wheelers. The average motorcycle weighs in at around 400 pounds. Versus an 80,000 pound truck, it is not hard to see why motorcyclists need to take extra care when driving around 18-wheelers. Motorcycles are much smaller and harder to see in the mirrors of a truck. Trucks sometimes turn in front of a motorcycle, causing them to swerve, crash, or become airborne. Motorcycles can slide underneath the tires of an 18-wheeler and be crushed. If a motorcycle is hit by a truck, the results are much more devastating than if a truck were to hit a passenger car.
Common Causes Of Truck Accidents
It is too often that a truck accident is caused by the negligence of a driver, trucking company, or truck manufacturer. Most accidents can be avoided with good driving habits and attention to road safety. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Poorly maintained brakes
- Driver inexperience
- Hazardous road conditions
- Poor weather
- Mechanical or tire failure
- Speeding, tailgating, or improper lane changing
- Driver fatigue
- Alcohol or drug influence
- Inadequate lighting or road signage
- Distracted driving.
One or more of these elements can combine to cause an extremely deadly accident.
Talking With a Truck Accident Attorney in Florida
Truck accidents are often fatal and always serious. Serious injuries such as broken bones, back and neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and amputations caused by a truck accident are no joke. At Sheftall Law, our truck accident attorneys understand how stressful and scary it is to be involved in a truck accident. Lost wages from having to miss work and a diminished quality of life on top of the unexpected medical expenses that come from hospital stays and rehabilitation can be as devastating as the accident itself.
With decades of combined experience, we have the legal knowledge necessary to take care of your needs and rights in these trying times and we will stand by your side until you receive the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Florida, please contact a truck accident attorney at Sheftall Law at (904) 569-6025 today to explore the legal options that are available to you.