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Risks when driving next to a semi truck

If you are like most people who drive in Missouri, you have at times found yourself right next to a tractor trailer and realized just how small your standard passenger vehicle really is compared to those big rigs. The sheer size of these trucks is actually just one of the reasons that truck drivers, truck owners and trucking companies should put a strong emphasis on safe operation of vehicles.

As explained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a standard car might weigh about 2,000 pounds. A semi truck, on the other hand, could weigh as much as 40,000 pounds. The weight of any load in the truck might even add to that. This weight makes trucks catch speed fast when on a downgrade but also impedes their ability to stop well on any surface especially a decline.

Every vehicle has some amount of blind spots but a tractor trailer has some very large blind spots. Some trucks print reminders on them for other drivers, identifying if a car driver cannot see the truck's mirrors, the trucker cannot see the car. Sadly, most trucks do not have these type of safety messages on them. Large semi trucks can also be more difficult to maneuver so a trucker may not be able to avoid a hazard as well as someone driving a passenger vehicle.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Missouri an overview of the factors that make sharing the road with large commercial vehicles risky so that they can be aware of how they may protect themselves.

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