Road safety as a driver when around other automobiles is one thing. It’s something we all develop through experience on the road, driver’s education class in school, and common sense. Most people are more than capable of navigating the roads without playing bumper cars with the other autos on the road.
Driving big rigs, 18-wheelers and other trucks is another matter entirely. These massive vehicles do not move, turn and stop like cars. They require special consideration if you’re driving near them. Follow these tips provided by a truck collision expert, however, and you should find that your drives are much safer and your risk of getting into an accident with a truck are greatly minimized.
And you DON’T want to get into an accident with a truck!
Never Pass On The Right
No matter what you do, even if you think you have room, even if you think you have the time, remember to never, ever pass a truck on the right. The reason is simple: the driver cannot see you. Even with all those mirrors and all that training, truck drivers cannot see you when you are immediately on their right thanks to the massive blind spots inherent in big rigs. Trying to slip past a truck can often end up with your car being clipped, or worse, being pulled under the truck. Listen to the truck collision expert: Don’t do it!
Know Their Blind Spots
Speaking of blind spots, trucks have them, and they can be BIG. They’re all around the truck, and depending on how it’s turning those blind spots can shift to different areas. If your car is in one of them, a driver is not even going to know you’re there, according to a trucking expert witness. Ideally, you will have good knowledge of where a truck’s blind spots are at any given time. That is an unrealistic expectation for most drivers, however, so your best bet is simply to steer clear of big rigs, especially when they are turning, maneuvering, or otherwise doing anything other than cruising straight down the highway.
Don’t Slip In Front Of Them Before A Light
Yes, that big tractor trailer is going slower than you’d like, so slipping in front of it just prior to the next traffic light might seem like a good idea. That way you’ll be ahead of it at the light and can happily zip ahead once it turns green, right? The problem is, those rigs need a long distance to stop safely. They’re big and heavy, often VERY heavy when they are under full load. Every foot of roadway counts. When you slip in front of them, you may be robbing them of valuable roadway they need in order to come to a safe stop. The result? A 10-ton (or more!) vehicle slamming into you from behind. You don’t want that!
Never Tailgate A Truck
For similar reasons as some of the above issues, tailgating a truck is even more dangerous than tailgating an automobile – the truck driver isn’t even going to know you’re there! Worst still, you will not be able to see traffic ahead of the truck, which means if the truck needs to stop short you’re going to slam straight into (and then under) the truck, or will be caught in an ugly crash if the truck jackknifes.
This stuff may seem like basic common sense, but too many drivers on the road disregard these safe practices. Don’t be one of them and your drives will be safer.