Tips for Avoiding a Truck Crash on South I-25

Our Albuquerque Truck Crash Lawyers at Buchanan Law Firm, LLC Represent Clients Severely Injured in Tractor-Trailer Collisions

Tips for Avoiding a Truck Crash on South I-25

A U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) report ranked New Mexico third nationally for motor vehicle fatalities, many of which occur on Interstate 25. The longest road in New Mexico, I-25 spans 462 miles across the state and runs north from Las Cruces to Buffalo, Wyoming. The interstate is heavily traveled by tractor-trailers transporting cargo to numerous destinations.

Crashes involving tractor-trailers are notoriously catastrophic, with a staggering 97 percent fatality rate. A tractor-trailer measures approximately 70 feet long, can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, and requires 500 or more feet to come to a complete stop. A crash or car slamming on its brakes a mere 30 yards ahead of the truck often creates an unavoidable and devastating collision.

Avoiding truck crashes on South I-25 requires understanding the hazards and defensive driving techniques when sharing the road with semis. Tips for preventing a truck crash are listed below.

Avoid Sudden Braking or Maneuvers

Trucks cannot make sudden stops, especially if fully loaded. If you make abrupt lane changes or suddenly stop in front of a truck, the result could be a devastating rear-end collision. Use your signals well in advance and make gradual movements. Also, pay attention to the truck driver’s behavior. Give them plenty of space, and be prepared to react if you witness any signs of erratic driving, such as swerving, drifting, or sudden braking.

Leave Plenty of Space

Trucks require much more space to come to a complete stop, and giving these vehicles plenty of space is vital. Leave at least four seconds between you and the truck. To calculate distance, select a stationary object on the side of the road and start counting when the truck passes. If you reach the object before counting to four, you are following too closely and should increase your distance.

Stay Out of Their Blind Spots

Trucks have large blind spots, also known as “no-zones,” where the driver’s visibility is limited or completely blocked. Blind spots exist on both sides of the truck, directly behind and in front. To reduce your risk of a collision with a truck, be mindful of the following blind spots:

  • 20 feet in front of the truck.
  • 30 feet behind the truck.
  • Two lanes on the truck’s right side.
  • One lane on the driver’s side, particularly from the driver’s seat to the mid-trailer.

If you cannot see the truck driver, the driver probably cannot see you, and you are in a blind spot.

Avoid Distractions and Stay Alert

Distracted driving is a leading cause of crashes, and it is especially dangerous to be distracted by large trucks in your proximity. Stay alert and avoid distractions like talking on the phone, texting, or eating while driving. Keep both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road ahead.

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Passing a semi requires more time to complete, often requiring some acceleration. Assess the situation carefully before passing, determine there are no other vehicles in your way or an oncoming lane, and pass the truck as quickly as possible. When passing, you should:

  • Pass only on the left.
  • Not pass while traveling uphill or downhill.
  • Remain in the passing lane until several hundred feet are between you and the truck, and you can see the driver in your review mirror.

Anticipate Weather Conditions

The weather in New Mexico can be erratic at times. Many of the worst truck crashes occur during inclement weather, often when truck drivers lose control of their vehicles due to the conditions. Avoid driving during dangerous weather conditions, and further increase the distance between you and trucks.

Use Clear Signals

One of the best ways to avoid a truck crash is to use clear signals to allow the truck driver to anticipate your actions. Communicate your intentions by using your turn signals early when changing lanes or merging.

Be Cautious Pulling Over

If you must make an emergency stop along the road, do so cautiously. Parking even slightly over the line can put you at significant risk of being struck by a passing truck. When making a stop, you should:

  • Stop only briefly.
  • Pull as far off the shoulder as possible.
  • Activate your hazard lights.
  • Set up cones or traffic flares, if possible.
  • Clearly signal and wait until the road is clear before merging back on the interstate.

Merge With Caution

Merging is one of the most dangerous driving maneuvers around semi-trucks. Drivers may be unable to see directly in front of them, so allow extra space when merging in front of trucks.

Avoid “Road Rage”

Stay calm, patient, and courteous when driving around trucks. Aggressive driving behaviors can escalate situations and increase the risk of crashes.

Maintain Safe Speeds

Obey speed limits and adjust your speed according to road conditions, weather, and traffic. Speeding increases the likelihood of crashes, especially when sharing the road with large trucks.

Our Albuquerque Truck Crash Lawyers at Buchanan Law Firm, LLC Represent Clients Severely Injured in Tractor-Trailer Collisions

Crashes involving tractor-trailers can have devastating outcomes. If you or a loved one was injured in a crash with a commercial truck, our Albuquerque truck crash lawyers at Buchanan Law Firm, LLC can help. Call today at 505-900-3559 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we serve clients in Santa Fe and the surrounding areas.

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