Even the average, everyday driver who sticks to sedans and SUVs should understand a few things about large tractor trailer trucks. This knowledge can help prevent the accidents that lead to courtrooms and personal injury attorney offices.
The vast majority of the American population will never know what it is like to drive behind the wheel of a big rig. That is fine.
1. Blind Spot. For anyone who is not yet aware, tractor-trailer drivers deal with certain disadvantages due to the size and shape of their transporters. Among the most notable differences between this and the average passenger vehicle is the rather large blind spots that the driver must contend with.
On either side of the truck, to the right and directly in-line with the front tires, and within a certain distance of the back bumper, are areas of little to no visibility. This means that a car traveling in such a relation to the truck may be completely invisible to the big rig’s driver. This, of course, drastically increases the risk of an accident.
2. Prone to Tire Blowout. The problem isn’t necessarily that the tires are more prone to giving out on the highways of St. Petersburg, but rather that these trucks rely on many tires and they have a great deal more wear and tear on them with travel miles than the average driver would on car tires. Nevertheless, the threat of such an occurrence is greater for a tractor-trailer driver and its impact will certainly be felt by any cars driving in the near vicinity.
3. Tired Drivers. Surely you have felt the impact of exhaustion while behind the wheel at least once in your life. Drowsy driving has become a sort of epidemic and certainly a major concern in Saint Petersburg and the rest of the country. That problem is compounded for semi-truck operators.
After all, they spend a large amount of time on the road during the week and will often travel long after the sun has set, making drowsiness more likely. The average truck driver will log up to 70 hours over an eight-day period.
4. Susceptible to High Winds. Again, due to the massive size and shape of these transporters, high winds can wreak havoc on the drivers’ comfortable rides. The gusts can push them all over the road as they fight to stay within the lines of their lanes. It is essential for other drivers to give these massive trucks space in times of high wind.
5. More Difficulty Taking Corners. When taking a tight turn, small vehicles will just skirt around with little trouble, but a 53-foot tractor-trailer does not take the corners quite so gracefully, especially when the driver behind the wheel is not one of the most experienced in the fleet. Thus, it is essential for other drivers to give them the space needed to make the turn. This means staying back from the intersection when stopping at red lights or stop signs. It also means being patient when following behind the semi-truck.
When you are aware of the challenges faced by large truck drivers, you are better equipped to avoid potentially fatal crashes. However, not everything in life can be predicted. If you are involved in a semi-truck accident, contact your personal injury attorney as soon as possible.