When driving around semis, it's very important that you give them the space they need to drive safely. You should never linger around the truck or hang out back by the trailer, as several accidents can happen in these areas. Tire blowouts, roll overs, and underrides can all occur when cars are driving along next to the truck.
Semi truck tires can blow for any number of reasons. Many use re-treaded tires and it's possible that the re-tread can come unglued. Other possible causes for tire blowouts include careless maintenance, low tire pressure, too many miles, or having too much weight suspended over a tire. Regardless of the reason that a tire may blow, tire shreds can do serious damage to your car, so you should avoid them from the start!
If you're following too closely behind a semi when it blows a tire, guess where the rubber remnants will go? That's right -- into your windshield. Or under your car...which happened to me a while ago. Regardless of whether the tire hits your windshield or flies under your car, your vehicle will be damaged.
Similar to blowouts, several factors can lead to roll overs in semis -- a heavy wind gust, taking a curve too quickly, or carrying too much weight. Trucks are tall and top heavy, and thus have a very high center of gravity. Driving in one of a truck's side blind spots puts you at risk for getting smushed in the event that a truck rolls.
An underride occurs when a passenger vehicle crashes into the back of a semi's trailer and slides underneath it. Usually, the top of the car is crushed or sheared off and the front passengers can suffer severe head trauma.
An average of 350 people are killed in underride accidents yearly. How can you avoid being another number in this statistic? Do not tailgate large trucks. Seriously, don't. If a truck has to make an emergency brake, how are you going to be able to stop in time? Especially since you wouldn't be able to see the hazard in front of the truck -- it would just brake suddenly and without warning.
Yes, there are underride guards on the back of semis, but I prefer not to risk a terrible accident in the event that said guard is not strong enough to withstand the force of my little Hyundai impacting at 60 mph. To prevent this, leave at least a 4 second following distance between you and the truck.
These three accidents all occur in one of the four semi truck blind spots. Avoid accidents, injuries, and fatalities by not lingering near the truck and avoiding those 4 blind spots. Avoid them, and you'll prevent these 3 scenarios that can occur in them, and everyone will get to Point B alive. Which is always a plus.
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