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Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

How to drive around tractor-trailers safely in Florida

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

It’s hard to enjoy sharing the road with tractor-trailers, especially when driving a smaller vehicle. These massive vehicles can cause severe damage in the event of a collision, so it’s essential to be extra careful in Florida when driving around them.

Give tractor-trailers plenty of space

Usually, it’s best to give tractor-trailers at least four seconds of space between your vehicle and theirs. The extra space will give you plenty of time to react if they have to brake suddenly. Also, tailgating a tractor-trailer is never a good idea. If they have to brake suddenly, you could easily rear-end them. Plus, it isn’t polite.

Be aware of their blind spots

Tractor-trailers have large blind spots on both sides and in front of and behind the vehicle. If you can’t see the driver in their mirrors, they can’t see you either. So, it’s essential to avoid driving in these areas if possible. Also, be sure to use your turn signals well in advance of changing lanes.

Be patient

Tractor-trailers can’t accelerate as quickly as smaller vehicles, so patience is essential when driving around them. Sometimes, motor vehicle accidents occur because people get impatient and try to pass a tractor-trailer when it’s not safe to do so. Just be patient and wait for a clear stretch of road before passing.

Drive defensively

Tractor trailers can be unpredictable, so it’s important to always drive defensively around them. Driving defensively means being alert and looking out for potential hazards. For example, if you see a tractor-trailer swerving or weaving, give them a wide berth and don’t try to pass them.

Be aware when they’re turning

Tractor trailers must swing wide to make turns, so it’s essential to be aware of this when driving near them because they may end up in your lane. Also, be mindful that they often have to stop and start multiple times when making a turn, so don’t tailgate them.

While sharing the road with tractor-trailers can be daunting, if you use caution and drive defensively, you’ll be able to stay safe. Remember that you’ll be protecting yourself and the lives of other road users.

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