A recent, early morning pileup on the Pennsylvania Turnpike involved three tractor-trailers. This crash resulted in at least five deaths and more than 50 people injured. While the cause of the crash is not yet known, people should be aware of added dangers that are associated with tractor-trailers as opposed to cars on the roads.
Big Trucks Have Big Blind Spots
Truck drivers experience blind spots just as car drivers do. But a blind spot on a tractor-trailer is significantly larger than the blind spot car drivers have. For example, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truckers have blind spots on all four sides of their vehicles. This includes:
- A blind spot for twenty feet in front of their cab
- The entire left side of the tractor-trailer to the last third of the trailer for one lane
- A blind spot across two lanes of traffic on the right, which extends out and back to the right including, in some parts, the entire length of the trailer, and
- Thirty feet behind the back of the cab.
This same set of blind spots applies to tour buses and large coaches.
Trucks and Buses Take Longer to Stop
If you have never driven a tractor-trailer or large bus, you may not have an appreciation of how long it takes to stop such a vehicle. For example, the FMCSA states that a truck traveling at 65 miles per hour will need up to two football fields of length to stop their vehicle.
Exercise Caution Around Big Trucks
The FMCSA offers the following safety tips when driving near big trucks:
- Exercise additional caution when passing large trucks and buses.
- Do not assume the driver remembers you are on the road while a big truck or bus is passing you.
- Be mindful of blind spots when truck and bus drivers are turning, changing lanes, or backing up.
- If you can’t see the driver in their side mirror, the driver can’t see you either.
- Give them plenty of room to stop.
- Remember that a fully loaded truck will take longer to stop than a truck with an empty load.
- Road conditions, such as rain, snow, and ice, can add to the time needed to stop a big truck or bus.
- Never cut in front of a large truck.
Have You or a Family Member Been Injured Due to a Large Truck Accident?
Large truck accidents can cause serious injury or even death. If you or a loved one have been involved in a large truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, including your pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. Contact the attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian to discuss your situation. If they believe they can help, they will take on your case with no up-front charges to you. Call today at 800.529.6162.
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