In a perfect world, every motorist, especially tractor-trailer drivers, would adhere to traffic laws and safety regulations, and collisions would never occur. In reality, a collision occurs somewhere in this state at almost every moment of an average day. While sharing the road with big rigs increases the risk for personal injury, there are several tips to keep in mind that may help avoid disaster.
Make sure the truck driver’s face is visible in the sideview mirror
Massive big rigs have large blind spots. If a person behind the wheel of a smaller vehicle cannot see a truck driver’s reflection in the mirror on the driver’s side, then it is logical to assume that the truck driver cannot see the driver of the car. This is an especially helpful tip if a driver plans on passing the tractor trailer.
Avoid moving back into right lane unless both truck headlights are visible
Moving into a left lane and past a vehicle in the right lane is only one aspect of safe and legal passing maneuvers. The vehicle passing must then return to the right lane. If a tractor-trailer is there, the smaller vehicle’s driver should not attempt to move over unless both of the truck’s headlights are visible in the driver’s rearview mirror. Even then, any number of issues may arise that would make returning to the right lane unsafe at that moment.
Never get too close to a big rig
Tailgating is always dangerous but is particularly so if the vehicle in front is a tractor-trailer. Severe or fatal injuries often occur when smaller vehicles fail to stop in time and travel right underneath a tractor-trailer. It is also important to remember that it takes a larger vehicle more time to come to a complete stop, which is why it is always best to keep a safe distance away from a big rig, whether traveling in front of or behind it. A New York motorist cannot control another driver’s behavior, and state law allows a person to file a legal claim if another driver’s negligence is the cause of a person’s injuries.