Lower your risk of a truck accident in Las Vegas with these 3 tips

To lower their risk of getting into an accident with a semi, there are things that drivers can do.

Tractor trailers are a common sight on roads around Las Vegas as they transport goods to retailers and other customers. However, the increasing numbers of these big rigs, due to more demand for products, poses a risk to others traveling beside them.

In a tractor trailer accident, people in passenger cars experience a much higher chance of suffering severe injury or death. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that in 2013, the majority of people who died in truck accidents across the country were those in passenger cars at 67 percent. This is not surprising, given the fact that a passenger vehicle is almost a fourth of the size of a tractor trailer, depending on the number of trailers the semi is hauling. However there are things people can do to lower their risk of becoming the victim of a truck accident.

1. Don't cut in front of the semi

It happens all the time. A driver, trying to get to an exit, gets impatient, passes the truck and then cuts in front of it. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance points out that a tractor trailer with a single loaded trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. That is a lot of weight and force to stop if the car in front of the tractor trailer slams on its brakes. It is estimated that the truck will need at least 430 feet for stopping distance if it is traveling at 55 miles per hour. If the truck is pulling additional trailers, it should be assumed that the truck will need even more room.

Additionally, the truck does not have the same types of brakes that a car has. This means it cannot stop on a dime. It is therefore, best for people to think of a truck as a jet airplane on wheels that needs a long runway in order to land.

2. Don't assume the truck driver can see you

Drivers of passenger vehicles and motorcycles often assume that the truck driver's high position gives them the ability to see everything that is going on around them. In actuality, a truck drivers' visibility is pretty limited. State Farm Insurance states that truckers can become confused if a driver suddenly changes lanes near them. This confusion can lead the truck driver to react in a way that causes a truck accident.

Instead, drivers should always make sure that the truck driver can see them before they try to pass the truck or switch into the lane in front of the semi. These big rigs have wide no zones, or blind spots located directly in front of the cab, the sides of the cab and behind the trailer. If drivers cannot see the truck driver, drivers should assume that the truck driver can't see them. Drivers should also use their signal lights, not their headlights, as a notice to truck drivers.

3. Give the truck space

Unlike passenger cars and bikes, tractor trailers are hard to maneuver and turn. Therefore, drivers should always be polite to trucks merging onto a freeway, changing lanes or making turns. Challenging a tractor trailer for the lane space is only going to endanger the lives of everyone and the passenger car won't win this one.

It should be understood that despite the best defensive driving, drivers cannot protect themselves fully from the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company. Therefore, victims may find it helpful to meet with an experienced attorney.