How to Drive Safely around 18 Wheelers

September 13, 2019 | By DJC Law Attorneys
How to Drive Safely around 18 Wheelers

Big rigs rule the road, especially here in Texas. Transporting goods around the country, these trucks (also called 18-wheelers) are some of the largest vehicles on our highways. Driving safely around a big rig is critical, otherwise motorists can suffer life-threatening injuries in a truck accident. Below, we offer our best tips for how to navigate around a big rig.

Give the Truck a Wide Berth

Because of their size, 18-wheelers take more time to stop. A fully loaded big rig going at 60 miles per hour could take 300 yards to stop, essentially the size of 3 football fields. For this reason, you never want to cut one off.

You should also make sure to leave plenty of room between you and the truck in front of you. If you rear end a big rig, it is very easy to slide under it in an “underride” accident. This type of crash can peel off the roof of a car and endanger the lives of everyone in the vehicle.

Avoid Driving While Distracted

Distracted driving is always a problem. Unfortunately, the pace of modern life has caused many people to try to multitask behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Avoid this. Instead, put your cellphone or smartphone away, preferably in the back seat where you can’t reach it. Also avoid eating or doing anything that takes your eyes off the road.

Sometimes, small children act up or your pets might be moving around. If you need to attend to anyone, pull onto the shoulder so that you are out of the way.

Always Yield for a Truck

Regardless of who technically has the right of way, you should yield to 18 wheelers. Let the big rig driver waive you through if they want you to go ahead. Otherwise, wait for them.

Pass Quickly

Large trucks have gigantic blind spots. On a highway, a truck driver might pull into another lane when you are in the blind spot trying to pass. For this reason, you need to pass quickly, if at all. Many big rigs go well over the speed limit anyway, so you shouldn’t pass unless one is going slow.

Don’t Linger Beside an 18-Wheeler

If you are on the highway, you should avoid driving beside a big rig for any length of time. Some trucks might drift, or a tire could blow out. Truck tires are very large and could slam into you as you drive beside it. Instead, either pass or fall back.

Remain Alert

Anything can happen on the road, requiring you to take defensive action. Some truck drivers get behind the wheel while high or fatigued which leads to driving errors. You don’t want to be struck because you weren’t paying attention.

Injured in a Trucking Accident? Call Us

DJC Law is a leading Austin personal injury law firm. We have helped many motorists injured in truck accidents, and we will use our experience to help you, too. Scheduling a free consultation with an Austin truck accident lawyer is easy; just call 512-888-9999.