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Semitrucks need respect and space on highways

With the winter season here, it is imperative that all drivers try to remain as safe as possible on the roads. The highways are a particular area where accidents can be devastating.

Semitrucks that are on the highways pose a big risk to other drivers. Everyone who travels on these busy roads need to understand a few points about these larger vehicles.

Truckers need room to accelerate, turn and stop. Other vehicles darting around the truck or trailer could have devastating results. Even if the trucker doesn't hit the darting vehicle, there might still be an accident with another vehicle on the road.

A semitruck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. They can take as much as 450 feet to stop if they are traveling at 55 mph with hot brakes. With cool brakes, the stopping distance at that speed is 190 to 200 feet, which is still more than the 130 to 140 feet that personal vehicles take to stop.

These large trucks have huge blind spots on the sides, back and front of the truck and trailer. These spots should be left empty to avoid crashes that the trucker might not see coming.

Always remember that big rigs need room to turn. Some truckers have to swing left to turn right. Don't try to pass the truck on the right when the trucker is executing a turn.

If you are involved in a crash with a semitruck, the circumstances will determine who is liable. If you weren't the liable party, you can seek compensation from the people or entities who need to be held accountable for the crash and the associated damages.

Source: Stop Unsafe Trucks, "The Facts and Statistics," accessed Dec. 22, 2017

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