Article provided by the Sawaya Law Firm. Please visit our Web site at www.sawayalaw.com.
Driving on Colorado's interstate highways requires a keen awareness of your surroundings. Accidents on the interstates, where speed limits are high, can cause devastating injuries and death. Defensive driving will help you avoid crashes.
Driving Near Semi Trucks
If you drive a car or a motorcycle, you know that semi trucks can be intimidating. With their bulky dimensions and heavy loads, semis can have an almost threatening presence. Even so, many drivers do not understand the specific dangers that semi trucks present to smaller vehicles.
Big rigs have longer stopping distances than cars or motorcycles. This means that when you stop in front of a semi truck, you cannot expect it to stop as fast as you did. Miscalculation on a car driver's part can cause a rear-end accident, with serious injuries sustained by the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
Similarly, it is unwise to cut off a semi truck in traffic — not because this might annoy the semi driver, but because a crash can occur if you have to stop suddenly upon encountering traffic ahead.
Even though semi trucks have large side-view mirrors, their blind spots are wider than cars' blind spots. A semi-truck driver is unable to avoid you if he or she cannot see you. A rule to remember is that if you cannot see the driver in the truck's mirror, the driver cannot see you in the truck's mirror, either.
The Nature of Driving Big Rigs
Semi-truck drivers often drive at least eight hours a day. Most of them follow the laws limiting driving hours and truck weight. But trucking is a difficult job, and fatigue can set in, along with stress. The semi-truck drivers who do not obey the law make the interstates even more dangerous. Because you cannot know which drivers are well rested or whose trucks are under the weight limit, you should exercise caution around all semi trucks.
Sharing the Road with Motorcycles
Motorcyclists often say that car and truck drivers simply do not see them. Alertness on the part of car and truck drivers will go a long way toward avoiding crashes with motorcycles.
Drivers should also be aware that the stopping distance for motorcycles is quite a bit shorter than that of cars and trucks. Motorcycles accelerate faster, too. This mismatch can lead to accidents between motorcycles and larger vehicles.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
When a crash occurs, insurance companies are likely to be involved. You may wish to consult an attorney as you deal with an insurance company, whether it is the other driver's or your own insurance company. Semi-truck companies often have significant insurance coverage. It is wise to have a lawyer's advice before you agree to any settlement.
Driving defensively around vehicles that are different from yours requires an understanding of other vehicles' limitations. With that information, you are more likely to have a safe trip home.