Fully-loaded semi-trucks on the roadway can weigh over 80,000 pounds. Due to the size and weight of these vehicles, accidents involving them are often catastrophic and devastating. These types of collisions often result in victims suffering severe, life-altering injuries or, in the absolute worst cases, death.
If you have been injured in an accident with a semi-truck, it is crucial to contact a personal injury attorney from Siegfried & Jensen as soon as possible to schedule a case evaluation. You may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries and damages.
Although it is nearly impossible to control how other drivers on the roadway are going to act and behave behind the wheel of their vehicles, there are a few things we can do while sharing the roadways with semi-trucks to ensure we remain as safe as possible.

Tips For Staying Safe With Semi-Trucks

How To Drive Safely Around Semi-TrucksAlthough we cannot prevent accidents 100% of the time, there are some basic precautions we can take while traveling that can help protect ourselves and loved ones.

Stay Clear Of Blind Spots

We are all aware of the blind spots on our vehicles. This is the area alongside the vehicle we are unable to see while looking in a mirror. Unfortunately, the blind spot on commercial 18-wheelers is much larger in size.
When traveling with semi-trucks on the roadway, try to avoid being in the following areas:

  • The lane on the driver’s side in an area extended back to half of the length of the trailer;
  • Two lanes wide while traveling on the right side of the truck;
  • Twenty feet ahead of the truck; and
  • Thirty feet behind the truck.

If you cannot see the truck driver in their side mirrors, chances are likely that they cannot see you either.

Always Use Your Turning Signals

When traveling with semi-trucks, it is crucial to always use your turning signals to change lanes or get off the roadway. Semis are a lot heavier and longer than most vehicles. Because of their large sizes and weight, these vehicles often require more distance and time to maneuver through traffic.
Use your turn signal to change lanes around a semi in order to prevent an accident from happening. This will ensure the driver of the 18-wheeler knows your intention and can adjust their speed accordingly in order to avoid a collision.

Give The Truck Some Space

When compared to cars and pickup trucks, semi-trucks often require more space while traveling along the roadways. It is crucial to provide commercial trucks with plenty of space while traveling alongside them. Trucks can take up two lanes while making a turn at a corner or intersection. It is crucial to avoid trying to pass a truck while they are turning to the ride side. Doing so can leave you trapped in between the curb and the truck.
In addition to staying away from semi-trucks while they are turning, it is crucial to give them space while traveling along the roadways. Traveling too closely can increase your risk of being involved in an accident if something happens to the truck. Some dangerous circumstances are:

  • When semi-truck breaks suddenly, causing a tip-over to occur, your vehicle can be trapped under the trailer;
  • When high winds cause the semi-truck to rollover; or
  • When the tires on the semi-trucks blowout, the vehicle could swerve into your lane or pieces of the wheel can fly at your vehicle.

Pass Semi-Trucks Safely

It is no secret that commercial trucks require significantly more time and space to stop and maneuver through traffic. For this reason, it is imperative for you to remain extremely cautious while passing semi-trucks on the road.
Truck drivers may slow down or increase their speed while traveling up or down hills, so try to avoid passing them along roadways with hills. Additionally, truck drivers are better able to see your vehicle if you are traveling along the truck’s left side.  Try to pass semi-trucks on their left sides while maintaining a safe speed and properly signaling for any turn or merge. Do not merge into the truck’s lane until you can see the driver of the truck in your rearview mirror. This will ensure the driver is able to see your vehicle so they can respond accordingly.
Furthermore, if a semi-truck is passing you, it is crucial to remain to the right side and reduce your speed so they can pass safely. This provides more space for the semi-truck to pass and ensures you are removed from the semi-trucks blind spot a lot faster.

Adjust Your Headlights

It seems more common for vehicles to utilize headlights that are almost blinding. When it comes to traveling with semi-trucks, the lights make it nearly impossible for truck drivers to see when they bounce off the truck’s oversized mirrors. The bright lights impair truck drivers and make it difficult for them to safely maneuver their vehicles. Always keep your vehicle’s high beams off when you see oncoming traffic, especially trucks.

Avoid Distractions While Driving

While in control of your vehicle, it is crucial to remain focused on the roads around you. Avoid engaging in activity that is distracting, as it can be life-threatening to you and drivers around you. Avoid doing things like:

  • Texting;
  • Making calls on the phones;
  • Conversing with passengers;
  • Eating
  • Using the GPS;
  • Playing with tablets or other electronics; and
  • Adjusting the radio.

A Utah Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help You

If you are ever involved in an accident with a semi-truck due to a negligent or reckless driver, it is crucial to contact a semi-truck accident attorney as soon as possible. You may be able to receive compensation for the injuries and damages you sustained.
At Siegfried & Jensen, we have over 30 years of experience of helping over 35,000 accident victims recover over $850 million in damages. We are dedicated to helping accident victims collect the compensation they deserve for their injuries and the justice they deserve. Our clients are able to focus on their recovery knowing their legal rights are protected by us.
Contact Siegfried & Jensen today at (801) 845-9000 to schedule a free case evaluation.

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Content checked by personal injury attorney Todd Bradford. I worked for a small law firm in Utah County, where I handled various types of cases. My main focus was personal injury and I decided that is what I enjoyed doing the most. I rejoined Siegfried and Jensen in 2012 where my focus is solely on helping personal injury clients. I take pride in helping personal injury clients and enjoy serving them. If you need an attorney for auto accidents or injuries of any kind in Salt Lake City, UT, Ogden, UT, Spokane, WA, or Boise, ID, contact us.