Living in north-central West Virginia, it’s almost impossible to avoid a tractor-trailer on interstates 79 & 68. It is no secret that tractor-trailer accidents are common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,602 people die in large truck crashes with 67 percent of these fatalities were occupants of cars and other passenger cars. While statistics show that the number of deaths caused by large trucking accidents has decreased over the last thirty years, large truck accidents do still occur frequently.

The tips below from our West Virginia accident lawyers will help you keep yourself, your family, and your passengers safer while sharing the road with large trucks. Keep them in mind and make them a part of your routine driving habits every time you are out on the road.

Tractor Trailer Following Distance

Keep a safe minimum distance behind semis and big rigs on the road. It reports that a reasonable minimum distance for following these trucks is 20 to 25 car lengths.

Avoid Driving In Blind Spots

Large trucks have even larger blind spots where they cannot see cars and trucks driving alongside or behind them. The right side of a commercial motor vehicle is the largest blind spot for a truck driver — sometimes blocking their view for three or more lanes. A rule of thumb to consider is if you cannot see the truck’s mirrors, the driver cannot see you.

Keep a Safe Distance

Trucks are big, and you should always assume they are carrying full, heavy loads. When they are carrying full loads, they can weigh substantially more. This means is that trucks cannot stop as quickly as cars can. Tractor-trailers need both time and distance to slow down to a full stop, and when they attempt to stop short, they place themselves, their cargo, and other vehicles on the road at even greater risk. Unfortunately, this can cause problems because of:

  • How long it takes the driver to recognize the danger
  • The reaction time of the driver
  • Braking distance of the vehicle

Don’t Cut Off a Large Truck

Like mentioned above, semis have much longer stopping distances — up to two football fields when traveling 65 mph. To prevent a rear-end collision, make sure you can see the truck’s entire front end before merging in front of it.

Watch For Wide Turns

Tractor-trailers have a much wider turning radius than cars. It is also risky if you drive beside them and keep pace with them in this situation as they may not see you as they veer over to make right-hand turns.

Pass Quickly

Passenger vehicles typically drive faster than tractor-trailers, so passing them on the interstate is pretty much inevitable. When passing a truck, make sure you are driving closer to the shoulder rather than the truck, and always quickly pass instead of lingering by.

Always signal

It’s important to signal the driver at least three seconds or more before upcoming changes. This timing allows the truck driver to slow down or move over.

Obey Local Traffic Laws

Obey all traffic laws when driving. Also, pay attention to other cars on the roads that are not obeying them. This includes things like wearing your seatbelt, abiding by speed limits, and even observing proper passing zones.

Large Truck and tractor-trailer accidents cause severe injuries, which can lead to loss of work and wages. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a large truck or tractor-trailer accident, the truck accident lawyers at Manchin Injury Law Group can help. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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