Winter conditions can make driving hazardous, especially when you’re sharing the road with large tractor-trailers. These vehicles require a great deal of space on the road, especially when the surface is slick, and visibility is poor. Knowing how to make yourself visible and maneuver around the trucks can help you avoid a car accident. The following tips will keep you safe behind the wheel this season.
How Drivers Can Avoid Tractor-Trailer Accidents
1. Check Your Vehicle Before Heading Out
Poor visibility is a common cause of collisions between passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers. An underride crash, for example, occurs when a smaller car is pulled underneath a truck; slippery road conditions increase the likelihood of such an accident. But a quick, cursory inspection of your vehicle beforehand could prevent a collision.
Make sure your tires have enough air and have tread for handling the snow and ice. Check the windshield wipers to ensure they are in good working condition, and top off the windshield washer fluid with a no-freeze formula. Additionally, test all lights and turn signals to verify that they give off the necessary amount of light, so truck drivers can see you.
2. Slow Down
Many tractor-trailer and car accidents happen in winter because drivers are going too fast in inclement conditions. Tractor-trailers usually have blind spots on all four sides, meaning they can't see you as clearly as you see them, even on clear days. When driving in the winter, slow down and leave a substantial gap—10 seconds or more—between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
3. Be Mindful of Ice
It is easy to lose control of a vehicle once you hit an icy patch. Black ice is difficult to see, and you only know you're on it once the vehicle spins out of control. No matter what type of car you drive, obeying the posted speed limits and avoiding sudden turns and lane changes will keep you in control of the vehicle.
When driving near a tractor-trailer, remember that it needs to be given a wide berth when turning. Although truckers are taught to leave one second of distance for every 10 feet of their truck length, plus an extra second if traveling above 40 mph, not everyone honors this rule. Taking a proactive approach and maintaining a safe distance between a tractor-trailer and your vehicle will prevent a potential car accident.
If you have been involved in a tractor-trailer accident, then trust The Law Offices of Daniel L. Crandall & Associates in Roanoke, VA, to provide the quality legal representation you need. Their car accident and wrongful death attorneys have more than 30 years of experience seeking justice and fair compensation for their clients. Call (540) 342-2000 to arrange a consultation, and visit their website for information about the car accident claims process. Like the firm on Facebook for additional legal tips.