How to Avoid an Accident with a Semi
As the fall progresses, millions of people will hit the road for the holiday season. That is, any time from Thanksgiving through New Years. This influx of traffic often coincides with some terrible weather, and it creates more “opportunities” to get in a wreck. Let’s check in with the Car Crash Captain to see how we can safely travel among semi-trucks this season.
Safe Travels on Texas Highways
We share the road with commercial vehicles, road-trippers, commuters, and those just out for a drive. While semi-truck travel may diminish a little on the actual holidays themselves, truck drivers are still out there hauling goods across America so we can score those black Friday deals and have well-stocked shelves at the grocery stores for our holiday feasts. More traffic means it’s time to be vigilant and drive defensively.
Give a Bit Extra Room
Under ideal conditions, it will take a fully-loaded semi-truck 200 more feet to stop than a passenger vehicle. But what if we’re talking about less-than-ideal conditions?
If you’re driving on slick roads, your passenger vehicle won’t be able to slow and stop nearly as quickly as when the roads are dry. If you wish to safely travel among semi-trucks, it’s important to understand that they can often stop faster than a passenger vehicle as their weight allows them to maintain traction on the road. If you’re following too closely, you may end up rear-ending the semi because your car slides and their truck doesn’t.
All things being equal, tailgating is a top cause of accidents no matter what time of year it is. Just give a little extra room.
Understand how to Drive on Slick Roads
In Texas the roads don’t often become too slick to drive. However, there are several times each year where the temperatures drop for a period of time and things ice over completely. When that happens, mayhem ensues.
Slick roads can be navigated safely, however, the best way to navigate slick roads is to have experience driving on slick roads. That means all the book knowledge in the world is going to be little help when you’re faced with skidding down the road sideways. If it’s not essential to drive in bad weather, then it’s best to just not drive during the slippery days.
If you are on the road when temperatures are hovering near freezing, pay extra attention to what’s going on around you. Bridges will ice up faster than roadways, and if other vehicles seem to be skidding a bit, take more precautions. If possible, avoid driving near a semi-truck in case their tires break free and cause the truck to lose control.
Travel During the “Off” Times
Truck drivers are on the road for their job. That means most of them try to maintain a bit of a schedule, like driving during daylight hours and during the week. Some of them have routes that are set up so they can be home for the weekend, and they are driving during normal business hours.
That means more trucks are on the roads from 9-5 on weekdays. Statistically speaking 3pm to 6pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays have a higher likelihood of truck crashes. When you’re planning your travel, consider traveling on the weekend, or doing most of your driving during hours that trucks won’t be on the road.
Keep in mind, however, that the “off” hours are sometimes the colder hours – nights and mornings have a higher chance of encountering slick roads as the temperatures are lower.
Drive with Grace
Road rage has been an issue since roads and vehicles were around. Everyone believes they are the best drivers out there, and they have the right skills. Anyone who drives differently, well that’s cause to rage!
There’s a saying that anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, anyone driving faster than you is a maniac. But the truth is, we’re all doing the best we can.
When you hit the road, start your trip with the intentions of giving other drivers some grace. That’s not to say let them rage and bully you off the road, but rather to safely travel among semi-trucks and other vehicles, understand that we all drive differently. Instead of raging, know that you’ll arrive alive if you keep your cool.
Slow Down to Arrive Sooner
It’s perfectly logical to think that driving faster will make you arrive at your destination sooner. In a perfect world that has no traffic, no wrecks, and dry roads, that might be true. In this imperfect world, however, we have to remember that other variables exist.
Driving over the speed limit can end up with a traffic ticket. The time spent on the side of the road waiting for the officer to write your ticket means you would have arrived much sooner if you had slowed down.
Driving faster leads to careless mistakes. Most other drivers are expecting you to drive the speed limit (or drive according to conditions if the roads are slick). When you’re booking it, they may change lanes in front of you. Ultimately, being injured or killed in a wreck is going to put a serious delay on your arrival time.
Talk with Herbert Law Group if You’re in a Wreck
Even when exercising caution, there will be other drivers that don’t exercise caution. Semi-truck drivers are held to a higher standard than passenger vehicle motorists as this is what they do all day. Despite trying to safely travel among semi-trucks, you might be hit by one due to no fault of your own.
If you’re involved in a wreck, and you have been injured or a loved one was killed, then it’s time to speak with Herbert Law Group to navigate the tricky world of insurance.