Traveling the highways can be overwhelming, particularly for those who are not overly familiar with the area or with driving at high speeds. One of the most intimidating elements of traversing American roadways is the influx of tractor-trailer trucks. These massive monsters can seem to be the rulers of the road and those who are not used to riding alongside can feel that they don’t belong. However, people can share the road with truck drivers with more comfort if they are wise about when they travel.
After Dark. Driving after dark comes with many potential obstacles. Animals tend to be on the move and harder to spot, wet roads and headlights add glare and reduce vision clarity, and, of course, truck drivers are still trying to meet deadlines. Truckers are human and do make mistakes, as well as poor choices. People are affected by the lack of light and, therefore, are more prone to drowsiness. This includes truck operators. To prevent fatigue, many of the people in this industry turn to energy drinks and supplements, or over-the-counter medications. Misused, these products can reduce alertness and reaction time. Nighttime also tends to be a time when alcohol consumption increases, so DUIs are more likely to occur during these hours. Though they are regularly tested, truck drivers do occasionally take to the road after drinking anyway, as do some unwise drivers of other vehicles.
During High Wind Events. Wind gusts impact all drivers because cars can be pushed around as the air pushes through. However, the wide panels on the sides of tractor-trailers are like giant sails that catch the wind. When this happens, the truck can be jerked violently from side to side. This increases the risk of rollover and of accidentally moving into the other lane of the highway. Those riding alongside or behind the truck when a gust hits are at risk. It is best to avoid traveling in wind storms, if possible. If not, then a driver should do his or her best to give tractor-trailers ample space on the highway.
On the Decline. When large trucks are headed downhill, they can pick up excessive speed. While braking and downshifting is meant to slow the momentum, there is still some increase seen and that can make it more difficult for truck drivers to avoid a collision. Avoid driving in front of a tractor-trailer when on a steep decline.
Holiday Season. Even when the weather cooperates in Saint Petersburg, the dry roads of the highways can be the site of several accidents during the holiday season. The increase in traffic and the amplified pressure to take part in drinking leads to a greater number of crashes. Truck drivers are also more likely to be on the road during this time of the year as the shipping demands increase. Gifts being ordered, an increased need for stocked stores, and the massive amounts of food that are purchased this time of year lead to a greater need for tractor-trailers. If you don’t like riding alongside the monster machines and you want to avoid a big rig accident at all costs, then be wise about where you travel and when during the holiday season.
If you are involved in a tractor trailer accident, speak to a Pinellas personal injury attorney regarding your right to seek damages to cover the costs of vehicle repair and medical expenses. Personal injury law protects the victim of these accidents and truck driver error is all too often the cause of tragic circumstances.