Sharing isn’t always the easiest thing to do. That’s why we are taught from such a young age to practice. As if it wasn’t difficult enough as a child, sharing the road with other drivers seems like a whole different ballgame. It can be risky to trust that the people driving next to you are paying attention to traffic the way they should be. However, it’s something we have to do if we want to get anywhere. Additionally, the increased heart rate and panic that can build as your tiny car whizzes by a huge 18-wheeler is enough adrenaline for a week.
Earlier this month, a trucking accident involving 9 semi-trucks caused a 40-car pile up on the Indiana-Ohio border. Though not always, we think that in most cases, these accidents are avoidable.
Here are 10 safety tips to keep in mind as you are sharing the road with semi-trucks this Winter:
1. Drive slow
The Winter months can make driving the speed limit seem like a treat. It may be frustrating to drive slow (especially depending on how big of a hurry you are in to get somewhere), but the safety benefits of driving slow outweigh the risks of reckless driving on the snow and sleet.
2. Keep enough distance between you and other vehicles
As with any time of the year, you shouldn’t tailgate other drivers. It’s especially important to abide by this traffic rule when the roads present threatening conditions such as ice, sleet, and snow. Giving yourself enough distance between vehicles helps to ensure safe stopping if you should need to slow down quickly.
3. Remember that semi-trucks can splash water, sleet, and snow onto your windshield
Semi-trucks sit up higher than most vehicles, making low-sitting vehicles perfect targets for all the water, sleet, and snow the 18-wheelers can splash onto windshields. It’s not intentional, but it’s the nature of these large trucks. This can make it risky to drive closely to semi-trucks.
4. The “big rigs” like to throw their weight around
Another feature of semi-trucks that isn’t intentional is the massive amount of weight they carry. This weight distribution makes it easier for the trailer of the truck to sway back and forth as the driver changes lanes, so be on the lookout.
5. Pass with care, or not at all
Since semi-trucks can sway due to their weight, and splash water or snow onto vehicles, it makes passing semi-trucks slightly hazardous. Sometimes it’s not worth the risk just to get around the truck. Remember, it’s good to drive slow in the Winter, anyway!
6. Stay out of blind spots
Just like passenger vehicles, semi-trucks have blind spots. However, the blind spots on semi-trucks are far greater than those of a regular passenger vehicle. By nature, the size of the commercial vehicle decreases the field of depth when it comes to seeing nearby vehicles. The peripheral view is decreased because of the large back end. Make sure you can see the driver’s mirrors if you are following behind or trying to pass.
7. Don’t text and drive
This is a year-round safety tip, but especially important in the Winter season. Since it’s necessary to take extra caution during the Winter, make sure you aren’t throwing in an additional distraction that could be easily avoided.
8. Give yourself extra time
Perhaps one of the easiest precautionary tips is to give yourself extra time to get to where you need to go. Whether you’re driving to work, a dinner date, or just to the grocery store, always give yourself an extra 15-20 minutes. This will increase peace of mind as you drive because you won’t feel quite as rushed if you find yourself running late.
9. Watch out for accidents
One of the most common sights to see in the Winter is car accidents on or along the road. As you pass the scene of an accident, be sure to steer clear of the accident, giving police officers and any other present services plenty of room to do their job in assisting the victims.
10. Call Boughter Law Office for help if you get in an accident
Finally, if you find yourself in an accident, especially a trucking accident, be sure to call Boughter Sinak, LLC. Our attorneys have plenty of experience in dealing with insurance companies and will fight to make sure you get the compensation and help you deserve.
Photo Courtesy of: The Source by Rocko Rathon