When it comes to sharing the road, truck drivers are one of the biggest factors you need to consider. Commercial truckers are a large percent of the traffic that you will encounter on the road. Because of the nature of their hours and the demanding delivery schedules, it's important that you are attentive and careful when you are on the road around them. However, if you are ever involved in an accident with a tractor trailer, it is important to understand how different road behaviors may affect your trucking accident case.
Following Too Close Can Cost You
Following too close to a tractor trailer can be a dangerous move. The size of these vehicles makes it virtually impossible to see anything in front of them, so you won't be able to react quickly enough in the event of any kind of obstruction or traffic issue ahead of the tractor trailer driver. If the commercial driver slows or has to stop suddenly, you are at a much greater risk of causing a rear-end collision, and with a vehicle that large, a passenger car could end up underneath the back end of the trailer, causing severe injuries. Unfortunately, if this happens because you are following the driver too close, you will not be able to seek any kind of restitution for your injuries, because the accident is likely going to legally be considered your fault.
Blind Spots Can Be Questionable
Remember that commercial trucks have very large blind spots. It is important that you keep that in mind when you are driving behind a vehicle like this. If the driver cannot see you behind them, they won't be able to react properly to protect you as well as themselves. The rear blind spot on a tractor trailer extends nearly 30 feet, which is no small distance.
The best practice to remember when you're following a semi truck is that you need to be able to see the mirrors on the cab in order for the driver to be able to see you. Keep your distance from the truck when it is in front of you, and make sure that you can see at least one mirror at all times. That way, you can be sure that the driver in the cab can see you behind them as well.
If you were in a tractor trailer driver's blind spot and he or she hits you, the accident could be considered your fault. That means you won't have an accident injury case, and the driver could actually file one against you.
Stopping Too Quickly Is Subjective
If you are in front of a semi truck, you need to keep in mind that these trucks cannot stop quickly. Between the size and weight of the cab and the weight of a loaded trailer, stopping distance increases significantly. You will need to keep this in mind, especially in a case where a truck driver may be following you too closely. Avoid stopping quickly, because any kind of quick stop could result in the driver being unable to stop the truck and running into the rear end of your car. The power behind this type of impact could cause you serious injuries. Luckily, in a case like this, the liability would typically lie with the commercial driver, so you should be able to seek some restitution for the accident. However, it could still be deemed your fault if it's found that you slammed on the brakes for nothing or just to stop the driver from tailgating you.
The Commercial Driver's Actions Could Be Telling
While most commercial truckers are experienced enough to follow the best practices on the road, fatigue and distraction can be a factor when they are driving. Between the in-cab computer dispatch system, their own fatigue, and other distractions on the road, you need to be attentive to every commercial truck that is around you on the road.
If the driver is erratic, unable to maintain their lane, or otherwise driving in a seemingly irresponsible way, make sure you leave much more distance between you. You can also call and report dangerous driving, either to the local law enforcement or to the number that appears on the truck, if there is one. Don't try to pass a driver that is driving unsafely, because it could lead to a serious accident.
If an accident is caused by this type of behavior, it would typically be the commercial driver's fault. That means that you would likely have a case for restitution. Contact attorneys at law to learn more.