Beware the “no zone” that travels with 18-wheelers. Stay out of that area or you may pay a high price – your life.
You know what it is like driving a smaller vehicle near an 18-wheeler. It makes a lot of people pretty squeamish, and with good reason. Even if you haven’t been in an accident with one of these gigantic death traps, you may have seen one or read about one.
It would be hard not to hear about a fatal big rig accident, since just about one in every eight traffic deaths involves a collision with a tractor-trailer. The causes? Typically, they range from trucker negligence to mechanical flaws and from driver distraction to manufacturing defects.
You have to hope in your heart of hearts that the rig you’re driving beside is in tip top operational shape and that the driver is alert, safety conscious and courteous about his half of the road, as opposed to wanting to share yours. You’d like to know if the steering, tires and brakes all check out.
If they don’t, you can count on the trucker losing control of a vehicle in a tense situation. If those tires are mushy, expect a blow out and possible roll over or jackknife, and if that happens, steering control is shot. If the brakes are questionable, there’s little chance they will stop the behemoth.
You need to remember at all times that handling a big rig is not like driving a car or other smaller vehicle. There are huge blind spots for these rigs, an incredibly wide turning radius, load on considerations and stopping factors to take into consideration. For instance, 18-wheelers can’t stop on a dime. Be smart when you’re in their presence, as it never pays to pick a grudge with something that big.
Never assume that the trucker is good to go and has had all his mandated breaks. Unfortunately, many truckers don’t honor their down time requirements and drive until they are exhausted. A dead tired trucker is almost worse than a drunk driver. Stay away from the rigs, give them road space and above all else, stay out of the “no zone” blind spots right in front of them, to the rear and on either side of the truck.
The bottom line is if they can’t see you, you stand the chance of being obliterated, crushed, run off the road or worse. Travel in the presence of big rigs with due care and attention.
Tim Anderson writes for Atlanta Personal Injury attorney, Stephen M. Ozcomert. The firm specializes in personal injury, malpractice, motorcycle accidents, and wrongful death. To learn more about Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Stephen M. Ozcomert, visit Ozcomert.com.