Semi-Truck Accidents Can Often Be Unpredictable

Given their size and visibility on the road, one might easily assume that a semi-truck accident would be relatively easy to avoid. In reality, however, they are often caused by sudden, unpredictable factors that can create a dangerous situation in mere moments. From over-tired drivers to vehicle malfunction, semi-trucks pose unique risks that all Houston drivers should know how to avoid.

Tips to Help You Steer Clear of an 18-Wheeler Accident

You can’t be expected to predict truck problems or driver behaviors, but there are still some ways you can protect yourself when sharing the road with tractor trailers. The following tips can help you avoid a serious 18-wheeler accident.

blind spots illustration

Don’t Get Trapped in Blind Spots

Due to the size of the trailer, the blind spot of a semi-truck is much larger than the blind spot of the average passenger vehicle. If the driver changes lanes or attempts to swerve around a hazard, it’s possible you could be struck.

To proactively avoid this, stay out of blind spots by giving sufficient space and staying in view of the truck’s mirrors. If you can’t see the mirrors, the driver likely can’t see you. Don’t let other traffic trap you in a blind spot; fall back if necessary.

Yield to Semi-Trucks

One of the easiest ways to avoid trouble is to simply yield to trucks. While you might feel confident that you can pull ahead of that semi before it changes lanes or merges onto the highway, it’s not worth the risk. Yield to the truck by falling back and allowing the space necessary for it to complete the move safely.

Be Aware of Trucks’ Limited Braking Power

trucks take longer when breakingUnlike other vehicles that use hydraulic brakes, heavy vehicles like 18-wheelers use air brakes. Because air is plentiful (and free), there’s no need to replace any fluids, and leaks are not as dangerous.

However, air brakes must be applied slowly and correctly to prevent the system from losing pressure and locking up. When judging your distance from large trucks, remember that they will require significantly more time and distance to stop than you will.

Avoid Driving Near 18-Wheeler Axles

If the axles on a semi-truck are improperly maintained, the truck is overloaded, and/or the load is distributed unevenly, one or more axles could be at risk of breaking. Especially at highway speeds, a broken axle could have devastating consequences. Try to avoid lingering near the axles of the vehicle to reduce your risk if breakage occurs.

Be Cautious in Poor Weather Conditions

Don’t get complacent when the weather turns hazardous. Even if both you and the trucker are excellent drivers, semi-trucks simply don’t have the maneuverability that other vehicles have. If something happens, you may find yourself the victim of an out-of-control tractor-trailer.

Avoid weather-related accidents by being extra careful around 18-wheelers when the road conditions are poor. Give extra space, obey the speed limit, pass trucks cautiously, and stay alert.

Involved in a Semi-Truck Accident? Get the Expert Help You Need

If a loved one or you have been involved in a semi-truck crash in the Houston area, you may be feeling confused, anxious, and unsure of how you’re going to cover things like medical costs, auto repair bills, and other expenses. Don’t take this on alone; enlist the help of an expert Houston 18-wheeler accident attorney from Johnson Garcia, LLP.

Leveraging our 25 combined years of legal experience, we’ll help you navigate the complex legal aspects of your case and seek the damages you deserve as an accident victim. Don’t worry about whether or not you can afford a lawyer; we also work on contingency, so, if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.

Call us today at (832) 844-6700 for your free initial consultation.