5 ways to avoid a tractor-trailer accident

You can take simple steps while driving to avoid tractor-trailer accidents.

Because commercial trucks are much larger than cars, accidents involving a tractor-trailer can be devastating, if not fatal. At approximately eight feet wide, 13 feet tall, 40 feet long, and up to 80,000 pounds, it's not surprising that tractor-trailers injure more than 110,000 Americans and kill more than 4,000 each year.

As scary as that may seem, the good news is that you can take simple steps while driving to avoid accidents.

1.Say no to the "No-Zones." Large trucks have blind spots called 'No-Zones" around the sides, front, and back, meaning if your car is too close, the truck driver can't see you. This rule is especially important during inclement weather.

2.Give the truck plenty of room to turn. Have you seen how big a tractor-trailer is? It's no surprise that they make extremely wide turns. Pay attention to truck signals and don't try to squeeze your car next to a turning truck.

3.Don't hit the brakes last minute. Big trucks don't have the same braking ability as cars and can't stop as quickly. Give the truck in front of you plenty of time to safely stop.

4.Give plenty of warning when turning or changing lanes. Truck drivers aren't mind-readers. So they can't tell when you're going to do something last-minute, like a speedy lane change or getting off at an exit. If you can, try to make sure the truck driver sees you before moving over on the road.

5.Use common sense. Always practice safe driving habits, like wearing your seatbelt, not texting and driving, and no drinking and driving. Remember to drive defensively, not recklessly.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate event of an accident involving a tractor-trailer, Foley & Small can help. Visit www.foleyandsmall.com or call 800-276-2525 for more information.