Passing Big Rigs in the rain can be extremely hazardous and is one of the most common causes of semi truck accidents. While it is the responsibility of the truck driver to avoid a crash, it is also the responsibility of passenger car operators to use common-sense safety measures as well. This includes avoiding the “blind spots” or areas around the truck where the
driver cannot see.
We have all had the experience of passing a big rig and having water splash on the windshield so that it is almost impossible to see. Is there a safer way to pass Big Rigs in the rain? Is it possible to avoid a commercial truck’s blind spots so that the driver is aware of your presence on the road?
What Are A Big Rigs “Blind Spots”?
Driving beside a tractor-trailer or big rig happens daily for many of us. However, many drivers never realize how much danger they are in when they hang in a truck driver’s “blind spots” so that the driver cannot see them. Since crashes between commercial vehicles and passenger cars happen frequently and often cause serious injury, it pays to learn about a truck’s blind spots so that you avoid driving there.
A semi truck has several blind spots, including the immediate rear of the truck; the immediate front of the truck and one lane to the right; and beside the truck’s right door. The size of these blind spots depends on the size and height of the big rig, the size of your vehicle and how close the two vehicles are to each other. Most trucks have mirrors to help drivers avoid collisions due to blind spots, but there can still be areas these mirrors do not reach.
What Should I Do To Avoid A Truck’s Blind Spots?
The best thing you can do to avoid a big rigs blind spots is to first realize they are there. As you pass a large truck, be cognizant of the fact that there will be spots where the driver cannot see you. If you must pass, especially in the rain or at night, do so quickly and smoothly rather than lingering behind, beside or in front of the truck. You should also realize that a semi truck cannot stop or maneuver as quickly as a smaller vehicle, so do not expect a truck to be able to avoid a collision in an instant.
You should also avoid tailgaiting, or following a truck too closely. Try to keep 20 car lengths between your vehicle and the back of a semi truck. This will also help you avoid wind pressure caused by big vehicles. Keep your headlights on low so that you do not blind the truck driver.
A good rule of thumb is to assume that if you cannot see the driver’s face in the truck’s side mirrors, the driver cannot see you. If you are going to pass, do not do so on the right. Be sure to signal your intent to pass clearly and use your horn to warn the truck’s driver if he or she tries to change lanes as you are passing.
Do not cut in too closely in when you pass a large truck; instead, leave plenty of room so the driver can clearly see you. There are just a few tips to avoid accidents when passing semi trucks.
Additional Rain Safety Tips
Not only should you use extreme caution when passing a semi truck, but you should also be careful when driving around these large vehicles in the rain. Water creates a slick road surface, and trucks have a hard time maneuvering, especially when making sudden stops or lane changes. Be sure to give large trucks plenty of room during bad weather.
If you’ve been injured in a Big Rig accident, contact the truck accident attorneys at David & Philpot today (800.360.7015) for a free, no obligation consultation of your case.