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Safety Tips for Driving Around Semi-Trucks and Tractor-Trailers in Florida


If you are in a smaller vehicle, the results of an accident involving a semi-truck or tractor-trailer can be devastating. Truckers are generally trained and experienced, but they are human and they often drive through their exhaustion. If you have been hurt in a truck-related accident in Florida, contact a Florida accident lawyer at Searcy Denney.

As the driver of an automobile, it is ultimately your responsibility to safely get yourself, your vehicle, and your passengers to your destination. Fortunately, there are a few safety practices that can help you avoid accidents with big trucks.

Give Florida Truckers Plenty of Room

This is so important and could easily be labeled “give truckers far more room than you think you’ll need.” Keep plenty of distance both in front of and behind large trucks. If a truck is driving too closely behind you, choose a different lane, or safely pull over to let them pass. Remember that:

  • Big trucks need much more space than a typical car to come to a complete stop in an emergency.
  • Tire blowouts are common. Just think of how many times you’ve seen big chunks of rubber lying alongside the roadways. Truck tires will almost certainly blow out at some time, and you don’t want to find yourself avoiding these tire-rubber bombs as they fly across the road, or trying to avoid a swerving truck that has just lost a tire.
  • Even though big trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, they are like giant sailboats on the roads and are especially susceptible to wind. Again, you do not want to find yourself alongside a suddenly-swerving semi-truck.
  • Big rigs are surrounded by blind spots. Be very careful when passing and stay back far enough to see their side mirrors.
  • Be sure to anticipate wide turns. Many road turns are not designed for large trucks, and they have to make turns very widely just to stay on the road.

Allow Extra Time

When you change lanes or turn close to a semi-truck, activate your turn signal earlier to give the truck driver more time to respond to your intended turn and slow down if needed.

When merging, avoid moving into the lane in front of a large truck if oncoming traffic could slow down or stop abruptly. Trucks take longer to slow down and a sudden lane change may not give the driver enough time to avoid hitting you from behind.

Drive Patiently

Be patient when sharing the road with semi-trucks. Truck drivers have strict operating rules to follow and often use regulating devices, such as a speed limiter that restricts vehicle speed. Aggressive driving like honking or swerving through traffic will not encourage a truck driver to speed up. Instead, it could put you in danger of causing an accident and they are likely more inclined to slow down when aggravated.

Stay Focused and Do Not Drive When Fatigued or Impaired

This tip could also be titled “use common sense.” The dangerous and/or illegal habits of typical motor vehicle drivers become magnified when you’re dealing with 80,000 pounds of moving danger.

Involved in an Accident With a Big Rig? Contact Our Florida Accident Lawyer Today

If you have been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck or tractor-trailer, a Florida accident lawyer at Searcy Denney can help. Contact us online today.

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