Trucking is big business and commercial truck traffic is growing. On highways, trucking is the predominant way to move freight from coast to coast. Because of big truck traffic, safety is a primary concern for all of us when we take to the roadway and see a big truck approaching. As a driver, you are primarily concerned with reaching your destination safely than remembering that it takes twice as long in time and distance for a loaded truck to stop. Most of them will weigh up to or in excess of 80,000 pounds and require a longer acceleration and deceleration time than our own vehicles. A normal 3,500 vehicle will likely not stand a chance when involved in a crash with a big truck.

At Johnson Garcia Law, we want you to remember a few safety tips when driving around a big truck that could make the difference in whether you are involved in an accident. We also hope that if you have a teen driver you will take the time to discuss these safety tips with them.

  • You should know how and when to pass a big truck safely. Make sure that the entire truck appears in your rearview mirror before returning to your lane. It is common for a car to be “clipped” when a driver cuts too closely in front of a truck, thus sending it across the roadway.
  • If you brake suddenly in front of a big truck, it is likely the truck can’t stop before hitting you, and it could roll up onto your vehicle.  Always leave approximately four car lengths between the back of your vehicle and the front of any large truck.
  • There are four blind spots where vehicles will disappear from a truck driver’s view – just behind the truck cab on both sides, directly behind or in front of the truck. If you are behind a truck and you can’t see a truck driver’s side mirror, the driver can’t see you.
  • A truck turning right will take up more than one lane to make the turn.  As a big truck driver turns right, he could hit your vehicle because he can’t see you. Give a big truck plenty of room and usually more than one lane to turn.
  • Tailgating is another invitation to a severe collision. If a truck stops, you could slide up under a trailer if you are following too closely.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA), more than 4,300 fatalities occurred in 2016 involving big trucks. We hope you are never involved in a big truck crash. However, if you are involved in an 18-wheeler accident, Houston, the professionals at Johnson Garcia are here to help.