Tractor trailers do not operate the same way cars do
Encountering tractor trailers on the road is a daily event for people in Prince Georges. These big rigs transport important products to retailers and companies, but their sheer size makes them one of the biggest threats to motorists. One of best ways for people to lower their risk of getting into an accident with a tractor trailer is to understand that they do not operate in the same manner that a passenger vehicle does.
New cars now come with the ability to stop almost on a dime but the same is not true for a heavy truck. Geico insurance states that a tractor trailer traveling at a speed of 65 miles per hour and weighing about 80,000 pounds, will require a football field's length - about 300 feet - for a stopping distance. If the truck is carrying more than one loaded trailer, it's stopping length will increase even more.
All vehicles have blind spots and tractor trailers are no exception. The difference is that they are much larger for a semi then for a passenger car. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance refers to these as no zones and they are located at all four sides of the semi. The widest zones are located on the right side of the truck, starting at just behind the cab and extending to several feet in front of the cab, and behind the truck's trailer. The best advice that drivers can follow is to assume that if they cannot see the trucker, then the trucker can't see them.
Passenger cars, including SUVs, often can maneuver easily in traffic but the same cannot be said for a large tractor trailer. Therefore, people should give them plenty of space. Due to their immense size, truckers will often make a right turn from a middle lane so that they have the space they need to avoid hitting something. Drivers who try to squeeze through the space could find themselves cut off.