Motor vehicle collisions are one of the most pressing safety concerns in the United States. People of all ages can suffer major injuries or die because of a wreck. Avoiding any collision may be a driver’s goal, but it may not be a realistic one. They may need to focus their efforts on reducing their risk of the worst kinds of crashes.
After all, not all crashes are equally dangerous. Some have a much stronger association with people dying or suffering life-altering injuries. Collisions that involve a semi-truck and a smaller vehicle are among the worst that occur, and these crashes may result in permanent or fatal consequences for the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
Obviously, drivers would do well to avoid collisions with commercial trucks whenever possible. Those who want to enhance their safety should learn about and avoid the most common, truly preventable driving mistake that contributes to many commercial vehicle crashes.
Smaller vehicles get too close to commercial trucks
There are big blind spots around the trailers of semi-trucks that can contribute to crash risk. Some commercial vehicles have large mirrors on the sides of the cab intended to help the drivers see more of their surroundings. Despite those extra mirrors, commercial drivers will still struggle to see vehicles driving directly to the sides of the trailer or immediately behind the commercial truck. In fact, those large blind spots actually extend for two lanes to the right of the trailer. When a commercial driver can’t see people near them in traffic, they might make unsafe decisions that result in a wreck.
Motorists may also fail to give a commercial truck sufficient space when merging in front of the bigger vehicle. A semi-truck takes longer to slow and stop, so drivers generally need to leave twice as much space as they usually would between their vehicle and a semi-truck when merging in front of one. Those approaching intersections where there is a commercial truck stopped or about to turn may also need to be more cautious about their approach to give more space for a wide turn.
Avoiding mistakes that increase someone’s crash risk can both improve someone’s safety and strengthen their right to a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim in the event that a crash occurs.