Semi trucks may have many names, but no matter what you call them, one thing remains the same: your vehicle will lose in an accident with a semi. While all driving rules apply to sharing the road with semis, these trucks require additional safety measures due to their unique characteristics. Knowing what these are and how to handle them can help you avoid getting into an accident with a tractor trailer and requiring a Seattle personal injury lawyer.
Semis have large blind spots
Semis have large areas around the truck called the No-Zone, which are the driver's blind spots. They are directly in front of the tractor, directly behind the trailer and diagonally on the sides, with the right side's blind spot covering a larger area than the left's. Stay out of these locations so that the driver can see you, especially when either of you is changing lanes. Make sure you have sufficient time and space to pass a semi safely, and do so quickly to avoid driving alongside it. If you can't see the driver in the truck's side-view mirror, he or she can't see you either.
Semis are slower
A semi not only has to drive more slowly, but it's also slower at stopping and going uphill. The extra time it requires to brake means you should keep your distance when driving in front of it to avoid it rear-ending you, and when driving behind it to avoid rear-ending the truck. Likewise, driving too closely behind a semi climbing a steep incline can lead to you rear-ending the semi or the semi hitting you if it slides backwards on icy roads.
Semis sway in bad weather
Semis may seem strong and stable because they are so large, but their size actually makes them more vulnerable to external conditions. Strong winds and rains can make the trailer sway heavily. Give extra room around semis in inclement weather to prevent the truck from falling on you if it tips over.
Semis make wide turns
Tractor trailers need plenty of space to make wide turns so they don't hit objects or drive off the road, especially when turning right. Keep your distance and allow the truck to turn first so you don't get squeezed out or hit.
Following these safety tips will reduce your chances of getting into an accident with a semi. However, a truck driver may still be reckless and cause an accident resulting in your severe injury. If this happens to you, hire a Seattle attorney familiar with truck accidents to fight for your compensation.