Depending on what time of day you are out on the road, you may see dozens of semis making their way to deliver their goods. These trucks can seem large and intimidating and make you wonder if it is safe to share the road with them.
Logistically, large trucks are essential to the economy. While the drivers go through training to perform their job safely, when a semi is in a crash, the results are often devastating.
How common are semi crashes?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, semis are involved in 4% of all vehicle crashes.
Each year around 4,600 fatal crashes involving semis occur. About 182,000 people suffer non-fatal injuries in crashes with semis annually. Crashes involving semis often cause substantial injury due to the vehicle’s much larger size.
Here’s what you should know about semis and how you can stay safe sharing the road with them.
The distance before stopping
Semis are very different from the other vehicles on the road. In addition to the vehicle’s sheer size, semis also use air braking systems and have loads that could shift while they are on the road.
While an air braking system only takes a moment or two longer to engage, every second matters when a driver is trying to avoid a collision. Air brakes are essential for semis because they allow drivers to reach a more controlled stop.
The combination of the type of vehicle and its load means that a semi requires almost twice as much space to stop as a typical car. When navigating around a semi, you should make sure there is plenty of room for them to stop if they need to react to changes on the road.
Making sure you’re seen
Another challenge for semi-truck drivers is the large blind spots around their vehicle. Although the large mirrors would suggest that the driver can see everything, the reality is that there are significant blind spots around a semi.
You can stay safer around semis by making sure your vehicle is visible as much as possible and avoiding sudden lane changes. When you communicate your turns ahead of time and leave plenty of space between you and large vehicles, you can help everyone get home safely.
Consult with a truck accident lawyer
If you or someone you know has been injured by a semi, an attorney from Harris Powers & Cunningham may be able to help.