The Bigger They Are the Less They See You

It’s not such a smart move to travel too close to big rigs while you are rocketing down the nation’s highways. The bigger they are, the harder time they have seeing smaller vehicles right next to them.

America’s highways are home to many kinds of vehicles, ranging from school buses to passenger vehicles, and from tow trucks to tractor-trailers – the big rigs that are sometimes called double wide because they are hauling two trailer units, not just one. That makes for a lot of truck to pass.

Sharing the road with monsters like a double wide is a bit of a balancing act, and drivers need to be alert and aware of where they are at all times in relation to the rig. Let’s talk a bit about just how big some of these units happen to be. Would you believe that a loaded tractor-trailer is up to 8 ½ feet wide? To put this into perspective, that works out to be 102 inches, or 50% wider than your car.

Not only are these units wider, they may also be hauling up to 65 feet of trailer behind them on the road. On the other hand, logging trucks may range up to 70 feet long, which translates into four times the length of an average car. If you’re going to pull out and pass one of these trucks, you had better know what you are doing and have a clear road to do it.

Did you realize that the usual load for a truck with a “single” trailer may range up to 80,000 pounds? Some states allow truckers to haul on a multiple axle basis, which kicks up their load capacity anywhere from 120,000 pounds to 160,000. That is a lot of serious danger on tires and is what can be called a deadly weapon on wheels, even if the driver knows what they are doing.

Sharing the road with these rigs not only means they need to drive responsibly, but that you must also take extra steps to drive safely when around them; for instance, stay out of the truck’s blind spots. Sure truck drivers have side mirrors as do car drivers, but both have blind spots. For trucks, there are blind spots on both sides of the vehicle and directly behind it. Be smart. If you can’t see the truck’s side mirrors, then you are in the blind spot – hurry up and pass or drop back.

There have been TV ads about the dangers of following huge rigs too closely, yet people still do it. The ideal distance from the back of a big rig is at least 25 car lengths. Give yourself room to get out of danger if something happens ahead of the truck.

If you opt to pass a big rig, then don’t pull back in front of it the minute you have passed its nose end of the cab. Wait until you are able to see the headlights in your rearview mirror.

Tony Francis is an Orlando personal injury lawyer. His practice specializes in being an Orlando accident lawyer helping innocent victims get compensation for their losses. To learn more about Orlando injury lawyer, Orlando personal injury lawyer, Orlando accident lawyer, Orlando injury attorney, visit