Large trucks pose a serious risk to drivers in New Jersey and across the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 80 people were killed in large truck accidents in New Jersey in 2018 alone. This is a significant increase from the 53 people who were killed in similar accidents the year before. It is critical to know how to drive safely around tractor trailers in order to minimize your risk of becoming injured or killed in large truck accidents.
A truck driver’s blind spot is extremely large, especially along the right-hand side or behind the truck. Keep in mind, that if you cannot see the side-view mirror of the big rig the trucker cannot see you. Avoid driving the blind spot areas. If you do get stuck in the blind spot, speed up and pass the truck on the left-hand side.
Due to their weight, height and length, large trucks require a greater distance to stop than normal motor vehicles. If a large truck is traveling at highway speeds, it can take as long as two football fields to stop. This is especially true in bad weather conditions, such as rain, snow, fog, wind and ice. If the tractor trailer’s load has poor weight distribution, it may cause the big rig to tip over as well.
Never pull in front of a tractor trailer and slow down, as it is difficult for trucks to stop. Furthermore, avoid pulling up alongside a big rig if the driver needs to make a wide turn. Always remain cautious when navigating the road alongside a big rig and avoid engaging in distractive behaviors. If you observe a tractor trailer driving erratically, be sure to report the incident to the authorities.