Two interstate highways intersect in Kansas City, and a third will soon be added. Interstates mean heavy traffic and large semi-tractor trailer trucks. And those beasts can kill you if you aren't careful.
Some accidents are bound to happen no matter how carefully you drive, because you can't control what the other guy is going to do. There are, however, some special precautions you can take around large trucks to reduce the chance of a tragic collision.
- Keep a good safe distance between you and the semi-trailer when following. Some people think “drafting” behind a truck, that is using it to cut wind resistance is a neat way to improve fuel economy. Not so neat. Have you ever noticed those large hunks of tire tread along the interstates? Those probably flew off of one of those 18-wheeler's tires. If one of those flies off into your windshield, it won't be pretty. It's dangerous to “draft.” Don't do it.
- When passing a truck, use your signals when you go around; and most definitely when you pull back in front after you've passed. Those signals are there for a reason. They let your fellow travelers know your intentions and adjust their driving accordingly. It is never more important to let the other guy know what your about to do than when his vehicle outweighs yours by a few tons. That is one collision you really, really do not want.
- Also, when passing a semi-tractor trailer truck, pass on the left if at all possible, and don't dally. The trucker has much less of a blind spot to his left than to his right. Getting around the trucker quickly will reduce the time you may be in a blind spot.
- Do not cut in front of semi-trucks. As the country song says, “those big trucks don't stop on a dime.” Their size and weight give them much greater momentum than a car, making their slowing and stopping distance much greater. That's physics!
Be extra cautious and vigilant around semi-trucks. Be aware that they have limitations in visibility and maneuverability that you do not have. If you can think of other tips to help us all share the road with semi-trucks more safely, I'd love to hear them.
If you need further information on my personal injury services, call my office today at 913-281-3221 for a free confidential consultation. For more than three decades I have helped accident victims throughout Kansas City receive fair compensation for their injuries. I would be happy to provide you with personalized, superior legal representation.
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