Semi-trucks can be more than 20 times larger than passenger vehicles. When a trucker’s behavior is about to cause an accident, passenger-vehicle drivers feel like they have no control over things. Smaller vehicles can take preventative action to avoid these accidents.
You may not think that 18-wheelers are a considerable threat to you on the road, but we are currently experiencing a 30-year peak in trucking accidents. What can you do to avoid becoming another number in this statistic?
Stay seen by truckers
Truckers have a different set of blind spots that make it much easier for a passenger vehicle to vanish inside of them. Recognizing the blind spots of a semi-truck can help other divers ensure that the truck does not accidentally collide with you. If you cannot see the trucker from a window or mirror, they cannot see you.
Do not crowd a truck
Trucks take considerably longer to come to a complete stop, especially at high speeds. If you cut off a truck and stay too close to the front, a sudden stop may spell disaster. Even if a trucker sees a threat as it happens, slamming on the brakes immediately may still fully stop dozens of yards away. These trucks also pick up a considerable amount of speed when going downhill, making it even harder to stop when things get out of control.
Watch for weather
Driving in stormy conditions can make controlling a passenger vehicle harder. The same weather can make driving a truck considerably harder. Heavy rain makes it even more difficult for a trucker to spot another car in their mirror. Strong winds push against the large surface area of the trailer and can cause a truck to swerve. Be sure to give trucks extra space in bad weather.
Keep your distance
Large blind spots, troubles stopping, and bad weather can all become a catalyst for catastrophic injuries or wrongful death in a truck accident. Keep your distance from trucks, and pass on the left whenever possible to increase your visibility. Respect the space a truck needs to protect your own safety.