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Take precautions when driving near big rigs in Chicago

Driving near semitrucks can be a dangerous prospect. If you are on the highway with these big rigs, you should take all necessary precautions to stay safe. Even if you do this, there is a chance that you will still be struck by one of these large, heavy trucks.

One tip for avoiding a collision with a semi is to ensure you give the big rigs ample time to stop. A fully-loaded semitruck would likely need 355 feet to stop if it is traveling at 60 miles per hour. The distance would be even greater if the truck is keeping up with the flow of traffic on the Dan Ryan or Eisenhower Expressway.

Even on the city streets, such as Lake Shore Drive, you have to give semitrucks room to maneuver. Slamming on the brakes at a red light might not give the truck driver room to stop. This could cause you to get rear-ended by the tractor-trailer.

Stopping distances in the rain, snow and other conditions when the roads aren't clear are even greater. The waves crashing over Lake Shore Drive's barriers means you need to give these large trucks even more room to stop.

Even if you give semitrucks ample room for stopping, there is still another factor you need to think about -- blowouts. A semitruck tire blowing out can lead to serious accidents. It can be dangerous for cars and other enclosed vehicles, but it can be even more deadly for motorcycles.

In days gone by, truckers would brag about how they would speed, have loads that surpassed weight limits and drove very long shifts. These activities aren't allowed any longer, but this doesn't mean that truckers don't do them anyway.

If you are struck by a semitruck, thinking about whether these factors had a part in the case or not is crucial and can have a big impact on your claim for compensation.

Source: Road & Track, "Want to Live? Stay Away from Semi-Trucks," Jack Baruth, accessed Feb. 09, 2017

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