How Can Car Drivers Stay Safe Around Tractor-Trailers?
There are quite a few tractor-trailers on Florida roads at any given time, and while the majority of truck drivers operate their vehicles in a safe manner, the consequences are serious when they do not. That said, not every accident can be laid at the fault of the tractor-trailer driver; sometimes cars will not use the road in the safest way possible. If you are concerned about sharing the road with tractor-trailers, there are tips you can keep in mind to keep yourself safe – or at least to minimize your liability – in the event of a crash.
Stay Out Of Blind Spots
One of the highest percentages of tractor-trailer accidents involve smaller vehicles like cars or pickup trucks getting into a truck’s blind spots. In general, tractor-trailers have the largest blind spots on the road, where they simply cannot see another vehicle either because of the truck’s shape, or because they do not have a rear view mirror as a car would. The rule of thumb in most situations is if you are driving and cannot see the trucker, they cannot see you.
Do Not Follow Too Closely
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommends at a minimum to leave a 4-second following distance between you and a tractor-trailer, with even more at high speeds. Passing at a downhill slant is generally not recommended, despite how common it is; an attempt to do this may result in an accident because a truck moves faster going downhill than a smaller car.
Above all else, a car’s driver can stay safe around tractor-trailers by driving defensively themselves. This is not to say that every road accident is avoidable; unfortunately, many are not – but it is generally always within one’s best interest to exercise an appropriate level of care while on the road. For example, texting and driving is one of the most dangerous distractions one can engage in behind the wheel, and anyone engaging in it is putting themselves and others at increased risk of accident.
If you are involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, one thing to keep in mind is that Florida observes what is known as a modified comparative negligence system for personal injury cases. What this means is that even if you are found to have played a role in causing the accident that led to your injuries, you may still be able to recover money damages from the defendant if you are found to have been less than 50 percent liable. Thus, even if you were not driving defensively, you may still be able to recover in some situations.
Contact A Tampa Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney
Tractor-trailers are common sights on Florida roads, but they still require that another driver interact with them while exercising the appropriate amount of care. If you have been injured in an accident with one of these vehicles, a Tampa tractor-trailer accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can help you determine what the best course may be for you and your family. Call our office today for a free consultation.