Every year there are numerous casualties recorded from road accidents involving trucks. According to Goldsboro personal injury lawyers’ website, “The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently reported that driver actions or a failure to act are the underlying cause of 88 percent of truck accidents.” Driving with trucks takes some skill and requires more caution than usual. Yet surprisingly, many people hop on the road without taking the time to learn the requisite skills which are crucial to safety. If you are driving on a highway, there is not much you can do to avoid sharing the road with trucks. There are certain tips and safety precautions that should be taken into account whenever you find yourself sharing the road with a truck.
There are several reasons why sharing the road with larger vehicles can be dangerous. However, for a driver who is careful and safety conscious, this should not be too much of an issue. One of the main causes of truck related accident is due to smaller vehicles attempting to overtake a truck on the wrong side. This is usually overtaking on the right side as the truck is trying to negotiate a right-hand turn. This is really dangerous, and accidents happen because the truck cannot stop in time. Another major cause of truck related accidents is when a motorist gets into the blind spot of a truck. In such a case, there is likely to be an accident because the truck driver cannot see the motorist. This affects their ability to navigate or maneuver the vehicle when problems arise.
If you are ever on the road with an eighteen wheeler or any large vehicle, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t drive in a trucker’s blind spots. There are more blind spots with trucks, as they have blind spots to the rear and right. The best side of the truck is either the mid left side of the truck or on the right front corner.
- Don’t be impatient while reversing. Smaller vehicle drivers must realize that it is not easy to reverse when you are driving a 48-foot trailer and not crash into anything. It takes a few times of trying to get it right especially in really tight areas. Be patient with the driver and allow them to reverse successfully.
- Don’t cut-off truck drivers. Avoid trying to worm your way into a small space in traffic to get ahead of a truck. Do not ever step on your brake suddenly once you get in front of a truck. (No matter the reason you may have). It takes trucks a greater distance to stop than the average small car. You are putting yourself at risk if you do any of these.
- Don’t hesitate to assist in lane changes or merges. Acknowledge that it is difficult for either a 22 ft tractor or a 48 ft trailer to negotiate into traffic easily. Once you see the trucker’s turn signal, leave enough space for them to change lanes or merge.
- Don’t try to play policeman. Trying to prove that you know the laws on speed, and that the trucker does not, in certain situations may not be the best idea. For instance, truckers driving fully loaded trucks negotiate hilly areas differently than the average driver. As the truck goes up it moves extremely slowly. However, it gathers speed very quickly going down. It is not as a result of carelessness, but to better handle going up the next hill. The best thing to do is allow the truck pass and avoid incidents or accidents.
If you do find yourself driving behind or behind a truck, it is good to be aware of where the blind spots are and how to navigate around them. These rules will keep you safe:
- Do not linger alongside any type of large truck.
- If you find yourself alongside a truck, try to move on past or back off so that the driver can see you.
- Check to see if you can see the driver’s face in the mirror. This is a clear indication of whether you are visible to that driver or not. In other words, if you cannot see them, they most likely cannot see you.
- As much as possible overtake the truck on the left side. This is where that vehicle has a smaller blind spot. On the right, however, the blind spot is larger, making it riskier to overtake.
- Give large trucks distance so that the trucker can see you there at all times.