Many Pennsylvania drivers become tense when in close proximity to semi-tractor trailers, and these stresses can sometimes become overwhelming when road conditions are poor and traffic is heavy. While navigating around large commercial vehicles may never bring joy to nervous motorists, these stresses can be reduced and controlled by understanding the dangers involved and taking appropriate steps to mitigate them.
Remaining vigilant and taking care when driving close to commercial vehicles is prudent because government crash statistics reveal that most of the road users killed in big rig accidents are passenger vehicle occupants. Semi-tractor trailers have far larger blind spots than cars or SUVs, and motorists should assume that if they cannot see a truck driver it means that the truck driver cannot see them. Semis also take far longer to stop than cars, and drivers should bear this in mind and leave plenty of space when attempting passing maneuvers.
Frustrations can mount and tempers fray when drivers are stuck behind slow-moving vehicles, but even a brief moment of impatience can lead to tragedy on the roads. Following too closely, driving aggressively and not giving trucks the space they need to make turns can lead to catastrophic accidents, and truck drivers are often unable to see passenger vehicles being driven recklessly until it is too late. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, about a third of the crashes involving passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers occur when passenger vehicles are in blind spots.
While passenger vehicle drivers may be responsible for some truck accidents, many others are caused by negligent trucking companies or fatigued, impaired or distracted truck drivers. Those who are harmed in such an accident might want to discuss their situations with a personal injury attorney.