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How to drive safely around tractor trailers

While people rely on large trucks to deliver essential goods throughout Georgia and across the country, these massive vehicles pose a significant danger to those on the road. In 2019, more than 5,000 people were killed in large truck accidents across the U.S. Over 194 of those incidents occurred in Georgia.

Fully loaded tractor trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and may be up to 70 feet long including the truck’s cab, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It is important for motorists to know how to drive safely around tractor trailers to minimize the risk of getting into a catastrophic truck accident.

Safety tips

Even though you may feel comfortable driving around tractor trailers, it is critical to understand how these trucks operate. Due to their length, height and weight alone, tractor trailers need a longer distance to slow down and stop. Pulling out directly in front of a tractor trailer puts you at risk of getting rear-ended by the truck.

Furthermore, trucks have extra-large blind spots on the right-hand side and behind the truck. Either avoid driving in these zones or pass through them quickly. If you cannot see the sideview mirror of the truck, the truck driver cannot see you.

When trucks make right-hand turns, they need plenty of room to turn wide. Do not pull directly beside a truck when they are turning right. In addition, loads can shift during transit, making it easier for trucks to tip over while turning. Stay cautious while driving and keep your seatbelt on at all times.

Dangers of tractor trailers

Some differences between trucks and vehicles include the following:

  • Large wind gusts may cause high profile trucks to tip over
  • Challenges accelerating and braking while going up or down inclines
  • Trucks are up to 30 times heavier than vehicles

It is extremely important to avoid all distractions while driving, especially around large trucks. Large truck accidents can be extremely catastrophic because of their size and weight alone.