Many motorists feel intimidated when they share the road with large semi-trucks. Motorists often have good reason for this, as a semi-truck with an attached trailer is 20 to 30 times larger than the average passenger car. When motorists are involved in an accident with a big rig, it often results in serious injury for the motorist. A truck-related accident can also be deadly.

Because of the severity of a truck accident, motorists should always use extreme caution when sharing the road with semi-trucks.

Discover four ways motorists can reduce their chances of getting into a truck-related accident.

1. Give Semi-Trucks Plenty of Space

Some truck-related accidents occur when the motorist follows too closely behind. These accidents happen if a truck has to stop suddenly. If a motorist slams into the back of a big rig, it could cause serious injury. To avoid this scenario, motorists should leave four seconds between themselves and the semi-truck ahead of them. This is the general rule when driving 40 mph.

When going over 40 mph, motorists should leave five seconds between themselves and the truck. When driving in adverse weather, motorists should double their following distance.

2. Use Extra Care When Passing

Truck drivers have huge blind spots, which prevents them from seeing a motorist.  Because it can be difficult for a truck driver to see a motorist, extra caution is necessary when passing a semi-truck. When a motorist passes a truck, they should not linger in a truck’s blind spots for too long.

If a motorist can’t see the truck driver in their side mirrors, it means the motorist is in the truck’s blind spot. Since a motorist does not want to be in a truck’s blind spot, they should pass as quickly as possible. If a motorist is stuck in a truck’s blind spot for too long, the trucker might merge into the motorist’s lane and cause an accident.

Since one of the worst blind spots for a truck is their right side, motorists should pass on the left. Once a motorist has passed a truck, they should not cut too closely in front of it. Instead, the motorist should leave plenty of space before merging. When a truck passes a motorist, the motorist should never speed up. Instead, the motorist should allow the truck to pass.

3. Use Turn Signals Properly

Motorists should use their turn signals whenever they drive. Especially use turn signals when sharing the road with semi-trucks. Using turn signals lets the truck driver know what the motorist plans to do.

When using their turn signals, motorists should put on their turn signal:

  • One hundred feet before reaching an intersection when making a left or right turn.
  • Nine hundred feet before exiting the highway or making a lane change.

Besides following these distance rules, drivers should also use turn signals when pulling over to the side of the road, merging with traffic, or leaving a roundabout. If a motorist’s turn signals do not work, they should use hand signals for turning and stopping. These signals will help both motorists and truck drivers be safer on the road.

4. Call the Authorities When Necessary

If a motorist notices that a truck driver exhibits dangerous or reckless behavior, the motorist should call the authorities. An accident will likely happen if a trucker drives too fast, too slowly, or all over the road.

These behaviors might indicate that the trucker is driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, experiencing driver fatigue, or is distracted.

These safety precautions can help lower a motorist’s chances of getting into a truck-related accident. However, instances occur when a truck accident happens at no fault of the motorist.

If you have been involved in a truck-related accident that is not your fault, contact the experienced semi-truck accident attorneys at The Jaklitsch Law Group. Our semi-truck accident attorneys understand truck accident laws and specialize in handling lawsuits that involve truck-related accidents.