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Safely sharing the road with tractor-trailers

If you live in Tennessee or have driven through the state, then you know that tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks are just something you will have to deal with when you take to the road. At any given time, there are literally thousands of these trucks on highways and interstates throughout Tennessee. Without question, driving next to a massive tractor-trailer can be intimidating even for the most experienced drivers.

Thanks to the popularity of online shopping, the demand for ground freight has increased significantly over the past few years. This is one big reason why there are more tractor-trailers on the road than ever before. If you get into an accident with a tractor-trailer, you’re at a much higher risk of serious injury or death than if you are in an accident with an ordinary passenger vehicle. Here are a few things to keep in mind the next time you find yourself sharing the road with tractor-trailers.

Give them room

Because tractor-trailers are so big and long, they require a lot of space to maneuver. Also, since a fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, it is very difficult for these trucks to stop quickly. Make sure to always give them plenty of room. Do not tailgate tractor-trailers, and certainly do not cut them off.

Pass quickly

The more distance you can put between yourself and a tractor-trailer, the better. However, since they typically are moving slower than the surrounding traffic, you’ll likely need to pass them occasionally. When making a pass, do so as quickly and safely as possible and never linger beside them. You never know when a tire could blow out or a gust of wind can come along and push the truck into your lane, so try to drive near the outside edge of the lane to give the truck some extra room.

Avoid blind spots

Tractor-trailers have large blind spots on all sides of the vehicle. Avoid the truck’s blind spots or spend as little time in them as possible. A good thing to keep in mind is, if you can’t see the truck driver in the truck’s mirrors, they can’t see you.

Drive defensively

One of the best ways to avoid getting into an accident with a tractor-trailer is to drive defensively. Driving near these trucks can be stressful, but if you practice defensive driving habits, you will be able to anticipate and avoid unexpected movements. Although truck drivers are professionals, they are not always as careful as they should be behind the wheel. Fortunately, there are options available to help you if you are injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver.