Road safety authorities in Baton Rouge and other cities in Louisiana urge motorists and operators of large trucks to consider each other as they share the highways. Due to the massive weight difference between trucks and cars, occupants of cars are typically worse off. Understanding the challenges big rig drivers face might help auto drivers share the roads safely. Some of the most dangerous conditions are driving in a big rig’s blind spots and improper passing.
Truckers cannot see passenger vehicles directly behind or on either side of them. They might move into a car’s lane because they were unaware of the car. A clever way to make sure the trucker sees a smaller vehicle is for the motorist to look for the truck driver’s reflection in the truck’s side-view mirrors. If that is not possible, the motorist can be sure that the trucker cannot see them because they are in a blind spot.
When a driver intends to pass an 18-wheeler or another large vehicle, it is essential to remember the length of the vehicle and the time it will take to pass safely and move back into the driving lane. Therefore, making sure there are no oncoming vehicles is crucial.
Misjudging the speed of an oncoming vehicle might force the passing driver to cut directly in front of the truck to avoid a head-on crash with the approaching car. Consider this: A loaded truck weighing 80,000 pounds and traveling at 65 mph will only be able to come to a stop about 300 feet after hitting the brakes. Therefore, the car occupants that suddenly cut into the rig’s lane risk being struck from the rear by the massive truck.
Sadly, despite the efforts to safely share Louisiana roads, passenger vehicles’ occupants will always be vulnerable. Those who suffer injuries in car vs. truck accidents might have grounds to file personal injury lawsuits. However, for such a claim to be successful, one of the requirements is for the plaintiff to show negligence on the truck driver’s part.