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Do you leave enough space when driving near 18-wheelers?

A motorcyclist from Baton Rouge was recently killed in a brutal collision with an 18-wheeler. The truck driver allegedly hit the motorcyclist multiple times before running him over. According to a news report, the truck driver claimed he did not see the motorcyclist or even realize right away that he had hit someone. However, a different news article suggests the collision may have been intentional.

Although the truth about this collision may not yet be clear, many collisions are caused each year by the reckless actions of truck drivers or other motorists who do not recognize the operating limitations of 18-wheelers. Unfortunately, this recent collision incorporates a common narrative because collisions between 18-wheelers and smaller vehicles are often devastating and usually cause severe injuries or death to the occupants of smaller vehicles.

Many 18-wheeler collisions are preventable

Whether you drive a motorcycle or passenger vehicle, there are ways you can minimize your risk of being hit by an 18-wheeler. One of the most important safety precautions involves staying out of the 18-wheeler’s blind spots.

Each 18-wheeler has blind spots that extend 20 feet in front, 30 feet behind, two lanes on the right and one lane on the left. Because the blind spots are so extensive, it is usually best to assume the driver cannot see you if you cannot see his or her face in the side mirror or through a window.

Be especially mindful of the front blind spot

It can be especially dangerous to cut in front of an 18-wheeler because you risk the driver not seeing you or not being able to stop in time to avoid a collision. Because 18-wheelers are so large and heavy, they require much more space than small vehicles require to come to a stop.

Cutting off one of these large vehicles can be even more hazardous because they have such a high ground clearance. This means that if the vehicle cannot stop in time to avoid hitting you, you could be involved in an override collision. An override collision would involve your vehicle ending up going under the front of the 18-wheeler.

There are several actions you can take to help you stay safe on the road. However, truck drivers are professionals who are held to high safety standards. If you or a loved one is ever injured because of a truck driver’s reckless actions, it may be appropriate for you to hold the truck driver responsible. It may be possible to receive compensation for medical expenses and other costs associated with the injuries.

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