Compare a regular passenger vehicle to a large semi-truck carrying a load, and you will feel like you are comparing a giant to a regular person. The accidents that involve 18-wheelers can be deadly or severely damaging to the drivers in passenger vehicles involved. Of course, a Houston 18 wheeler accident lawyer is always willing to help you if you ever find yourself with injuries as a result of an accident with one of these massive vehicles. However, it is best to know a few tips and tricks to protect yourself when you have to share the road with 80,000-pound 18-wheelers.
Be mindful of braking differences for the semi driver.
Semi trucks do not have the same type of brakes that you have in your vehicle. For the most part, you can likely stop your car almost on a dime. Your vehicle is small and doesn’t weigh a whole lot, so when you apply the brakes, you can stop rather quickly. Semi trucks rely on massive air brake systems that rely on compressed air to bring the truck to a stop, but this action does not happen immediately. When you are mindful of this, you will be more cautious about allowing semis that are traveling around you to have enough stopping distance. For instance, you will avoid traveling directly in front of a semi if they are driving close to your bumper.
Be alert to distracted 18-wheeler drivers on the highway.
Distracted drivers are problematic for all drivers, and the trucking industry is no stranger to issues with distracted drivers. In fact, many 18-wheeler drivers push their limits and drive with little sleep, drive with drugs or alcohol in their system, or drive when they really are not all that alert. In a study referenced by Reuters, half of the drivers surveyed admitted to using alcohol in spite of being behind the wheel. If you suspect a driver is inebriated or distracted, keep your distance and report the suspicion to the local highway patrol.
Be cautious when you are boxed in by more than one 18-wheeler.
Getting yourself lodged in between a convoy or side-by-side pair of semis can be enough to make even the bravest drivers nervous. If you find yourself boxed in by more than one semi, either slow down or speed up to get out of the situation. When drivers are traveling in close proximity to other semi drivers, it is easier for them to lose sight of smaller vehicles.
Being injured in an accident with a semi truck is no small incident. These accidents can leave you severely injured and facing a long recovery time. If you have been involved in an accident with a semi truck, reach out to a Houston 18 wheeler accident lawyer for advice.