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Use caution when driving near big trucks on Texas roads

Big semi trucks are a familiar sight on Texas highways. Semi trucks can weigh up to 40 tons, and when one of these trucks collides with a passenger vehicle, the outcome is often tragic. Drivers should keep a few important safety tips in mind when sharing the road with semi trucks.

Semi trucks have large blind spots. The driver cannot see you if you are less than 20 feet in front of the truck, alongside the trailer or up to 200 feet to the rear of the trailer. Remember that if you can't see the side mirrors on the truck, the truck driver can't see you.

Another important rule is to maintain a safe distance behind a truck. When following a truck - or any vehicle - and it passes a fixed object like a sign, two seconds should go by before your vehicle passes the same object.

Semi trucks can take up to 100 yards to come to a stop. When passing a truck, it is important to make sure you can see both headlights of the truck in your rearview mirror before moving back into your lane.

Big rigs make very wide right turns. If you try to squeeze between the truck and the curb, the truck driver may not see you. Similarly, drivers should never try to pass behind a truck while it is backing up.

Unfortunately, many truck accidents are caused by truck driver negligence. When this happens, it is important for victims to understand their legal rights. People who are injured by another driver's negligence have the right to monetary compensation. When a semi truck accident turns a person's life upside down, compensation from a personal injury lawsuit can provide some peace of mind.

Source: Texas Dept. of Transportation, "Highway Driving," accessed Nov. 16, 2015

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