If you’ve traveled any of Texas’ busy highways as of late, you’ve probably noticed an increase in the number of semi-trucks and big rigs on the roads. There are many reasons for this, but the fact of the matter is that it is important to learn how to share the road with these large trucks. Perhaps surprisingly, an estimated 75 percent of all commercial vehicle accidents are caused by passenger cars. In many cases, motorists are distracted or make other mistakes that contribute to these often-deadly accidents.
Like it or not, 18-wheelers aren’t going anywhere, especially here in Texas. As corporations continue to move into the Lone Star State, we only expect to see more big rigs on our highways. Because of this, it is imperative that you learn how to safely share the road with these commercial vehicles
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
The biggest threat to 18-wheelers isn’t weather, construction, or road hazards, but passenger vehicles. This is because many motorists do not understand what it takes to safely share the road with these much larger vehicles. Due in part to the sheer size and volume of big rigs, accidents involving them are often deadly.
All commercial vehicle drivers must go through rigorous training and have a special driver’s license. These individuals are professional drivers that understand the rules of the road more than most people do. While it is true commercial vehicle drivers make mistakes that lead to accidents, more often than not it is the little guys to blame. To drive this point home, let’s look at the most common causes of 18-wheeler accidents:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving (including the use of cell phones)
- Negligence of other drivers
- Truck maintenance issues
- Inclement weather
- Poor road conditions
- Inadequate training
Tips for Sharing the Road with Big Rigs
When it comes to sharing the road with 18-wheelers, the first thing to keep in mind is that these vehicles have numerous operating limitations. Because of this, it is important for other drivers to use extra caution and share the road, rather than battle. 18-wheelers have larger blind spots, longer stopping distances, and limited maneuvering abilities, all of which can pose a risk to others.
With more than 3 million semi-trucks on American highways, it is absolutely critical that we learn how to safely ride alongside them. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:
- Stay out of blind spots
- Anticipate any wide turns they are about to make
- Pass with care
- Drive defensively
- Maintain a safe distance at all times
- Never cut a large truck off
- Dim bright lights when traveling near or behind a semi at night
- Always use your turn signals
Following the above tips should help you get from point A to point B alongside semis and other vehicles much more safely. If you are involved in an 18-wheeler accident in McKinney, please contact Wormington & Bollinger to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.