All too often, motor vehicle accidents involving large commercial vehicles and smaller passenger vehicles occur in New York, and elsewhere. Due to the size differences between these large trucks and other automobiles, among other factors, such collisions often result in serious injuries, or death, for those involved. In fact, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles reports that 105 people were killed, and more than 5,000 were injured, in truck accidents in 2013 alone. While not all semitrailer crashes can be prevented, there are some steps you can take to help share the roads safely with commercial trucks.
If you have never operated a tractor trailer, you may not be aware that these vehicles handle differently than other automobiles. In general, however, large trucks are more difficult to steer and maneuver. Truckers may have to initially move one way before they are able to turn and the back end of these vehicles may protrude across other lanes of traffic when they are making turns. As such, it is advisable that you allow them more space than you may other vehicles.
Like other motor vehicles, semitrailers have blind spots. Also known as no zones, truckers may have difficulty seeing other automobiles when they are in these areas in the front, on either side and in the rear of their vehicles. Therefore, refraining from driving in a truck’s no zones for an extended period of time may help you avoid getting into a trucking accident.
Due to their large size and weight, as well as the loads they may be carrying, it generally takes 18-wheelers longer to come to a complete stop than it takes for other vehicles. Consequently, truckers may not be able to stop in time if you cut in front of them, or some other hazard appears on the road ahead. For this reason, it is helpful for you to allow yourself ample space before passing, or merging into traffic with, large trucks. This may help ensure you have ample following space between the rear of your vehicle and the front of the large trucks you may share the road with.
Taking these, and other safety precautions may help you avoid being involved in a collision with a semitrailer.