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How to Safely Drive Behind a Semi-Tractor Trailer on the Interstate

» Written by // November 18, 2020 //


Driving behind a semi-tractor trailer.

Consider These Tips from an Experienced Pensacola Truck Accident Attorney

As a Pensacola truck accident attorney, I have seen many examples of what not to do when driving behind a semi on the interstate. While these giant vehicles may be essential to commerce, they pose a serious safety hazard to other motorists. The results can be deadly when someone makes a mistake.

By sharing some lessons learned from experience, hopefully we can prevent some truck accidents, injuries, and heartache in the future.

What You Need to Remember About Tractor Trailers

Tractor-trailers, also known as 18-wheelers and semi-trucks, are multi-part vehicles designed to carry freight. In the front, the driver sits in the tractor which pulls one or more trailers. These vehicles may have a combined weight of up to 80,000 pounds on non-interstate roads in Florida and can be configured to weigh as much as 147,000 pounds on Florida turnpikes. The combination of tractor and trailer may be up to 68 feet long. By contrast, the average car is about 15 feet long and weighs less than 4,000 pounds.

The contrast is staggering.

With their immense weight and size, semi-trucks take much longer to stop than other vehicles. They also require more space to maneuver, and produce serious blind spots for the driver. Therefore, a Pensacola truck accident attorney often sees how these factors can contribute to severe injuries during collisions.

What Our Pensacola Truck Accident Lawyer Knows About Interstate Highways

The interstate highway system in Florida, known by the distinctive blue and red signs shaped like shields, was conceived as part of a federal plan, but is owned and maintained by the Florida Department of Transportation. Cars and trucks can legally travel at up to 70 miles per hour on many stretches of the interstate, and drivers often view that limitation as a mere guideline that allows them to go much faster.

One key to staying safe on the interstate is to avoid the temptation to speed. A Pensacola truck accident attorney sees all too often the devastation caused by vehicles traveling at excessive speeds.

While the interstate highway system was designed to accommodate high-speed traffic, those who laid out the framework in the 1950s may not have envisioned the size of modern tractor trailers or the current volume of traffic carried on the roads today.

Safety Tips When Driving Near a Semi-Truck

To protect yourself while driving behind a tractor-trailer, try to:

  • Maintain a safe following distance
  • Watch for blind spots – especially on the right side of the truck
  • Pass on the left side
  • Signal lane changes in advance with turn signals

Overall, a truck accident lawyer in Pensacola knows it is wise to drive defensively around big trucks. Allow extra time and space where possible and be on the alert for erratic behavior or problems such as loose tire tread.

When You Need a Pensacola Truck Accident Attorney, Searcy Denney is Ready to Help

All the precautions in the world sometimes prove useless to prevent a truck accident. If another person’s negligence caused you or a loved one to suffer injuries in a collision with a truck, talk to a dedicated Pensacola truck accident attorney to find out whether you may be entitled to receive compensation to help meet future needs. Call Searcy Denney for a free consultation at 888-549-7011 or reach out online


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Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley Logo The Towle House, 517 N. Calhoun St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301-1231
Toll-free: (888) 549-7011
Phone: (850) 224-7600
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