Most of us drive around an 18-wheeler at least once a week. These massive vehicles are essential to our country’s shipping needs, but they are not without their risks. Truck drivers know what safety precautions they need to take on the road, but do passenger vehicles’ drivers?
We are currently at a 30-year high for the rate of accidents involving commercial trucks. What should the drivers of passenger vehicles understand to help prevent accidents with these large trucks? Here are three tips that could help you prevent a serious accident:
Know the blind spots on a truck
All vehicles have blind spots on them. When everything else about a truck is bigger than a car, it only stands to reason that the blind spots are bigger, too. The blind spots on a commercial truck extend to about 30 feet on the front and back of the truck, the front half of the vehicle’s left side, and most of the right side of the truck. If you are unsure if you are in a blind spot, remember, if you cannot see the trucker, they cannot see you.
Avoid crowding a truck on either end
Semi-trucks often weigh thousands of pounds when carrying cargo. When these trucks travel at high speeds, their heavy weight means they need much more space to come to a complete stop. If you are too close to the front of the truck when they need to make an immediate stop, you are right in the middle of a danger zone. A trucker who cannot see who is directly behind them may also take an action that endangers the driver behind them.
Pass only on the left whenever possible
Because truckers have such a hard time seeing cars in the lane to their right, it can be extremely dangerous to try and pass on the righthand side of them. When passing a truck on the left, take some extra time to ensure the driver is aware of you before making your move to help avoid an accident as well.
You can make the difference
If a truck driver is not aware of you, they may change into your lane or rear-end you without knowing it. Take a moment to ensure that you are safe around these trucks by keeping your distance, passing on the correct side, and making sure the drivers can see you.