Posted by Taylor & Ring on 08/01/2018

The Top 3 Things Truckers Wish Car Drivers Knew

The Top 3 Things Truckers Wish Car Drivers Knew

For most new drivers, and even a sizable proportion of experienced drivers, navigating highways crowded with semi- and tractor-trailers is extremely anxiety-provoking. Whether it is the high speeds, limited visibility, or greatly increased emergency stopping distance, these large vehicles present legitimate driving obstacles that can lead to auto accidents.

But what do the drivers of such conveyances experience from their higher vantage-points, and what kind of guidance can they offer to make sharing the roads safer for all? Here are three things truck drivers wish other drivers knew.

Trucks need more room than you think

The average car in the US weighs about 2 tons. The average tractor-trailer, unladen, weighs nearly 10 tons. Add in freight and that truck next to you on the highway could tip the scales at up to 40 tons. What does that translate to on the road? Slower acceleration (unavoidably irritating to other drivers) and slower deceleration, which is potentially dangerous to other drivers who try and cut off, or cut in front of, trucks who need the extra space. The recommended space between a tractor-trailer and another vehicle at highway speeds is 100 feet - or about seven car lengths. When drivers feel tempted to enter that space, for any reason, they are putting themselves at risk of a colliding with a truck.

All trucks have blind spots, regardless of size

Trucks have massive blind spots: directly in front of the cab, out and behind the driver’s side door, in front and behind the passenger’s side door, and directly behind the vehicle. While it might be unavoidable to move through those blind spots, when drivers either linger there or don’t realize the truck driver cannot see them, trouble can ensue. Passing a truck on the right is not recommended because of the wide swath of road that is effectively invisible to the driver, no matter how well-intentioned.

Commercial trucks usually have a speed-limiter in effect

Beyond the sheer limitations of fuel costs to shift a heavy tractor-trailer at a high speed, many commercial vehicles are now equipped with speed limiters. In California, trucks are not permitted to go above 55 mph, regardless of the posted speed limit or road conditions. Car drivers can and do feel as if trucks moving at these pedestrian speeds are somehow a personal affront, but the driver of a truck has no control over the situation, and may very well empathize with the frustration!

The dangers posed by tractor-trailers to other drivers is significant, particularly if either party is impaired or driving in an aggressive manner.  If you have experienced a truck accident, reach out to a law firm with an extensive history of providing support to vehicle accident victims across Southern California. Call Taylor & Ring today at 310.622.9508 to schedule a consultation with an knowledgeable Los Angeles car accident lawyer.

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