Blog > Truck accidents > 5 Ways Driving A Semi-Truck Differs from a Car

5 Ways Driving A Semi-Truck Differs from a Car

Most drivers share the road with semi-trucks every day without a second thought, but all drivers should be cognizant of the key differences between driving a semi-truck and a standard vehicle. Recognizing these distinctions can help drivers adapt their driving behavior when near semi-trucks to avoid potentially deadly situations on the highway.

1. Driving in Reverse. Most semi-trucks are not equipped with rear-view cameras. A truck driver must rely only on their side-view mirrors in order to back up their large vehicles, often with severely limited visibility.

2. Stopping the Semi-Truck. The brakes on a car are very simple when you compare them to the brakes on a semi-truck. Many trucks require drivers to learn how to avoid heating up their emergency brakes. This means you would have to become familiar with exhaust type brakes, trailer brakes, and when to use the correct gears. Not only that, but semi-trucks are not able to stop as quickly as your standard passenger vehicle. This creates potentially dangerous situations when cars suddenly change lanes in front of a semi or break abruptly.

3. Blind-Spots.  The blind spots in a typical vehicle are nothing compared to the blind spots in a semi-truck. In certain situations, these massive blind spots can make it difficult for the truck driver to see other cars on the road. It is best to avoid staying in the blind spots of a semi-truck, so you should either pull back or quickly move forward.

4. Changing Gears. Very few semi-trucks are equipped with an automatic transmission, which means you would need to learn not only how to shift gears at the appropriate time, but also how to use your different gears for proper engine management.

Sharing the Roads In New York With A Semi-Truck

Now that you have a better understanding of just how difficult driving a semi can be, it’s important that you share the roads with them in an appropriate manner. There are some precautions you can take to keep you, your loved ones, other motorists, and the truck driver safe, and perhaps even reduce the number of accidents between semi-trucks and cars. Many Bronx truck accident attorneys recommend doing the following to avoid what could be a catastrophic accident between your car and a semi-truck.

1. Avoid Cutting Off a Semi. Because semi-trucks need twice as much room to stop, you should avoid cutting off a semi-truck when you pass them. Over 60% of all fatal truck accidents involve the front of the truck ramming into the car in front of them. Be sure to allow plenty of room between you and the semi before you change lanes in front of them.

2. Don’t Tailgate. If you tailgate a large truck, you will not be able to react in time or appropriately to traffic conditions that change suddenly. Let’s say you are tailgating a semi and are forced to hit your car brakes quickly. Chances are you will end up crashing into the rear of the truck. There aren’t any impact absorbing bumpers on a semi-truck, and the hard steel bumpers will not give. Additionally, if the truck doesn’t have a rear-end bar on their truck, your car could end up going under the back of the trailer of the semi-truck, crushing your vehicle.

3. Avoid Their Blind Spots. As mentioned earlier, all semis feature blind spots that are much larger than a standard vehicle, creating a wider opportunity for problems. Do your best to move quickly out of their blind spot to avoid potential problems.

The best advice we can offer is to continue driving in the same manner as you normally do, but you should allow for a larger space and more reaction time for both you and the driver of the semi-truck. This means to avoid aggressive driving and play it safe. The sheer size and weight of a semi can mean dire consequences when it comes to accidents.

No matter how safe of a driver you are, there are still accidents that occur between cars and semis, sometimes at the fault of the semi-truck driver. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a semi, then it is imperative you contact an experienced legal team that will help you stand up to the big trucking companies and their team of attorneys.

The attorneys at Greenberg & Stein have handled all manner of car wreck cases in New York City, including minor and severe cases involving semi-trucks, and we will be here to help you along every step of the way while we fight to ensure you receive justice for someone else’s negligent actions.

While every case is different, you can be assured that our award-winning legal representation is here to help you through this difficult time. If you’ve been injured due to careless driving, it is essential that you speak with a team of qualified professionals who can ensure you receive the necessary compensation to cover hospital bills, lost wages, and other damages.

We offer a free consultation and a 24-hour phone line, so don’t hesitate to call us if you need an attorney in New York City. Call us today at 888-411-3966 to schedule your free legal consultation.