The do’s and do not’s of sharing Connecticut roads with large trucks

Following certain do’s and do not’s when sharing the road with tractor-trailers may help drivers avoid being involved in serious trucking accidents.

Collisions involving large commercial vehicles and passenger cars and trucks are prevalent and unfortunate occurrences on the roads throughout Connecticut. Due to the size difference between these automobiles, such accidents often result in serious injuries or death for the occupants of the smaller cars and trucks. There is no guaranteed way for motorists to avoid being involved in trucking accidents. However, by following certain do's and do not's, they may be able to improve their safety when sharing the road with large commercial vehicles.

Do allow extra turning room

To safely make turns, tractor-trailers may have to initiate the turn from another lane or swing wide in the opposite direction. Motorists should keep this in mind and pay close attention to these trucks' signals. It is advisable to refrain from trying to get between a truck that is turning and the curb, attempting to squeeze past them or stopping in front of the line at an intersection.

Do not stay in the no-zones

Tractor-trailers have large blind spots along each of their four sides. When traveling in these areas, or no-zones as they are commonly referred, the truck operators may be unable to see drivers or their vehicles. To avoid potentially serious trucking collisions, it is recommended that people avoid entering trucks' blind spots whenever possible. Should they have to be in the no-zones, motorists should do their best to move through them as quickly as possible.

Do be cautious when passing

Passing is among the most hazardous maneuvers drivers attempt while sharing the road with tractor-trailers. Due to their length, it takes significantly longer to pass large commercial vehicles than it does to pass other cars and trucks. Thus, before attempting to pass, people should make certain there is plenty of clear road in front of them.

Do not follow too closely

Following any vehicle too closely may be dangerous for motorists, but tailgating large commercial trucks is especially unsafe. When they follow tractor-trailers closely, people cannot see around the large vehicles in front of them. This may impede their ability to spot and react to hazards and changes in the traffic conditions. Drivers should, therefore, maintain a following distance of at least two seconds when traveling behind semitrailers.

Do avoid distractions

Distractions take people's eyes off the road, hands off the wheel and attention off the task of driving. It is always advisable for drivers to avoid distractions, but this may be particularly important when they are sharing the road with large trucks. Keeping their focus on the road, the vehicles around them and the operation of their vehicles may help people identify and respond to hazards on the road in time to avoid accidents.

Do not cut off

Tractor-trailers require a significantly greater stopping distance than passenger cars and trucks. In fact, when traveling at 65 mph, it may take the distance of close to two football fields for fully loaded semitrailers to stop. Although not all situations that require people to suddenly stop or slow can be avoided, it is advisable for drivers to refrain from cutting in front of these large trucks to help prevent potentially serious rear-end accidents.

Seeking legal guidance

As a result of trucking accidents, people in Connecticut and elsewhere may suffer potentially life-changing injuries. This may lead to losses, including lost wages and undue medical bills, for which the truck operators or trucking companies may be held financially responsible. As such, people who been injured in tractor-trailer collisions may find it advantageous to talk to a lawyer about their options for pursuing financial compensation.