Fatigue is a huge problem among people who drive trucks for a living. As someone who drives a smaller vehicle, it would be nice if you could pick out the tired truckers from the alert ones. If there were a way to do so, you could give them extra space so that they wouldn’t crash into you and injure you.
Sadly, you cannot tell how many hours a driver in front of you has been behind the wheel, when they last stopped for a rest or how long they slept. So, it is best to assume that any trucker with whom you’re sharing the road is tired. You should take extra care around all 18-wheelers that you meet on the road.
The bigger the tractor-trailer, the more cautious you need to be
The longer the truck, the longer it will take to overtake it. That is obvious. Yet, you might not consider that the greater its length, the longer it will take you to get past it if something happens while you are alongside it.
For example, you are driving next to the truck when it starts to wobble. It could be due to a gust of wind, it may be because a tire blows or this might happen because the driver is falling asleep at the wheel. If the vehicle is short, you can quickly accelerate to pass it or brake hard to fall behind it. If it is a superload setup and you are stuck in the middle, you will have to travel over 75 feet in either direction before you can escape.
If a truck collides with you, you will almost certainly suffer injuries that require considerable compensation. While discovering fatigue was the cause could help your claim, it will not reduce your pain. You cannot give a truck a wider berth in hindsight. You can only do it at the time.