3 Tips for Driving Safe Around Semi-Trucks on Illinois Highways


safe driving around semi trailer trucksSemi-trucks are a common sight on highways across the United States, especially in Illinois. Because of the sheer size of these vehicles, semi-trucks account for a significant portion of vehicle accidents involving injuries and deaths. In 2017 alone, there were 11,732 semi-truck accidents in Illinois. 

While not every accident is avoidable, there are precautions you can take to protect you and your family while sharing the road with 18-wheelers. We’ve outlined 3 safety tips below that you can implement today. 

How to Stay Safe While Sharing the  Highway with Big Rigs

It is important to know how to make yourself as safe as possible when sharing the road with semi-trucks. Here are a few helpful driving tips to help you stay safe and protect yourself:

1. Avoid staying in a semi-truck’s “no-zones” 

Often called a blind spot on smaller vehicles, a “no-zone” is a large blindspot around a larger commercial vehicle. Truck drivers cannot see other vehicles that are in their no-zones. Because of this, the driver may not even be aware of another car’s presence if the car is within a no-zone.

These no-zones extend several feet away from the truck on all sides. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you cannot see a truck driver in his or her side mirrors, the driver cannot see you. 

However, there are still no-zones where a you may be able to see the truck’s mirrors and the truck driver still cannot see the car. It is therefore important to use caution around semi-trucks at all times and never occupy the space immediately alongside, behind, or in front of an 18-wheeler.

2. Be Predictable

When driving around semi-trucks, it is important to avoid any erratic moves, like trying to pass a truck on the right or trying to beat a merging truck to a spot in your lane. Instead, practice patient driving.

If you need to pass a semi-truck, do so on the left side and at a consistent speed for maximum visibility. As always, if a truck is trailing you, make sure to give them plenty of warning of your next maneuver by using turn signals for lane changes and applying brakes early when traffic slows down.

3. Pay closer attention

While you shouldn’t be texting and driving whenever you are behind the wheel, this is especially important when driving near huge semi-trailers. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, distracted driving accounted for nearly 2 out of 10 crashes involving injuries and 9 out of 10 crashes involving a fatality in 2010.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, our Chicago truck accident lawyers are here for you 

Practice these tips and use common sense in your safe travels. If you were involved in a truck accident and would like to speak an attorney, contact Shannon Law Group at 312-578-9501 or toll-free at (886) 881-9980, or fill out a contact form here to schedule a free initial consultation.

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