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How NJ motorists can stay safe around big rigs

Large trucks present a significant danger to motorists on the road, and drivers should be cautious when sharing the road with them.

Motorists may not think twice about sharing the road with tractor trailers on a daily basis. Drivers, however, should keep in mind that traveling alongside these massive vehicles can be extremely dangerous and even deadly. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, 3,660 people were killed and countless more were injured in accidents involving large trucks in 2014. Since 2009, the large truck fatality rate increased by a surprising 16 percent. In order to minimize the risk of becoming the next victim of a tractor trailer collision, New Jersey drivers should know how to maneuver safely around them.

Watch out for blind spots

Every vehicle has blind spots, or areas around the car where drivers are unable to see. Trucks have abnormally large blind spots, and truckers cannot see vehicles that are driving within those areas. Drivers are encouraged to stay out of those blind spots, which are especially large on the right-hand side and in the back of the truck. Drivers should speed up and quickly pass big rigs on the left-hand side.

Beware of brakes

According to the State Farm Learning Center, large trucks need a longer distance to brake when coming to a complete stop. Truckers who are traveling at a high rate of speed may find it difficult to stop in slowing traffic conditions. Furthermore, motorists who pull out in front of trucks and apply their brakes run the risk of getting rear-ended by a tractor trailer.

Look out for negligent truckers

Truck drivers are behind the wheel for extended periods of time, and in some cases are under pressure to meet tight deadlines and move more freight. As a result, truckers can become stressed, distracted and fatigued. Some truckers may violate federal regulations, which require them to take sleep and rest brakes at regular intervals. Drowsy truck drivers can be a serious threat to other motorists on the road, as they may nod off or fall asleep while behind the wheel.

What to do in the case of an accident

If you have been involved in a tractor trailer accident, you may be overwhelmed with the situation at hand. Not only are there insurance companies to deal with, but you may be suffering from serious injuries, property damage and emotional trauma. In addition, you may not be able to return to work for a period of time following the accident. You might find it helpful to consult with a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey, who may be able to help organize your case and get your life back on track.