Passing a tractor-trailer on any road can be frightening and intimidating. These large trucks are several times bigger than your small automobile and can cause significant damage to your body and vehicle very quickly. When it is time to pass, you may feel your heart beating fast as you do not want to make a mistake and end up in a traumatic truck accident.
While this is a completely natural feeling, there are ways that you can reduce your anxiety around 18-wheelers. You should stay calm, think about what you plan to do, focus on the road and your surroundings, and watch the truck to ensure that you are able to clear the way to make a successful pass if necessary.
Recent passing accident involving an automobile and tractor-trailer
According to GM Authority, a video of a Chevy Corvette causing a terrible accident while trying to pass a tractor-trailer is circulating around the internet. In the video, the Corvette merges onto a busy highway, where there are several passenger vehicles and a large tractor-trailer around it. Immediately, the Corvette starts tailgating the car in front of it, which is a sign that the Corvette driver was trying to increase their speed to pass the tractor-trailer to its left.
Since the Corvette driver could not get past the vehicle in front of it, they decided to change lanes to the right even though the white lines were solid. They put the pedal to the metal, which led to the rear tires losing traction. As a result, the Corvette started moving toward the left. When this happened, the driver tried to steer back the opposite way, which caused the Corvette to slam into the highway barrier on the right side as well as sideswipe the car on its left side.
While we wish this was the end of this story, the Corvette actually made its way off the concrete wall, causing it to twist and turn into the other lanes of traffic. Then, the front end of the car smashes into and goes underneath the side of the semi-truck. There were clear signs of significant damage to the vehicle. After the Corvette becomes untangled, the driver straightens up the car in the correct lane. However, the Corvette driver never was able to pass the tractor-trailer and caused serious damage to their vehicle as well as other vehicles during this completely preventable accident.
It is crucial that you understand and respect truck drivers while on the roads
Many people assume that semi-trucks are exactly like passenger vehicles. Motor vehicle drivers believe that truck drivers are able to do the same maneuvers that they can when in traffic. However, this could not be further from the truth. Truckers spend their shifts trying to control and handle a very tall and long vehicle that weighs up to 80,000 pounds. If they make one simple mistake, they can cause a catastrophic and deadly crash within seconds.
In addition, trucking companies usually require their truck drivers to remain below 65 mph. Therefore, if you are in a rush on a highway where the speed limit is 70 mph, you cannot expect a semi-truck to speed up as their truck most likely cannot go above 65 mph. It is also important to know and understand that truckers have a very difficult time slowing down or even coming to a complete stop. This is due to several different factors, such as size, weight, and load. Therefore, when you cut a trucker off, you are at risk of being rear-ended as they may not have enough room or time to slow down or stop.
Can a truck driver see my vehicle?
You most likely know that every passenger vehicle has a blind spot, which is the area that is difficult to see around the car through your mirrors. However, truck drivers have several different blind spots that are much larger than the blind spots in passenger vehicles. There are blind spots in the front, back, and both sides of semi-trucks that can extend up to 30 feet. As a result, you should always assume that a truck driver cannot see you unless you are able to clearly see them through their mirrors.
If you are in a trucker’s blind spot while you are trying to pass, you are putting yourself, your passengers, and other vehicle drivers at risk of a dangerous and deadly accident. The reason for this is because the truck driver will not only fail to see you, but they may also decide to switch lanes not knowing that you are there, which may cause a devastating collision. Therefore, if you are going to pass, you should make sure that you have enough room and space to do so and that you will not be in a truck driver’s blind spot for long. If you are unable to successfully pass in a short period of time, you should fall back in your lane to ensure that a truck accident does not occur.
Truck accidents are one of the most dangerous accidents there are. However, at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., we make sure that our clients do not have to go through these difficult times alone. Our Maryland truck accident lawyers are here to guide you through the legal process, handling any obstacles and hurdles that emerge along the way. Please call our office or submit our contact form or visit one of our multiple offices across Maryland to schedule your free and confidential consultation today.
Joshua Plaxen graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, and graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2012 magna cum laude. He was also inducted into the Heuisler Honor Society for finishing in the top ten percent of his class. During law school, Joshua served on the Executive Board of the University of Baltimore Law Review.