When a 3,000 pound car and an 80,000 pound truck collide, the outcome is often grim. Some of these accidents could have been avoided had the driver in the car knew how to share the road with large trucks. Many motorists treat trucks as just another vehicle on the road which is a mistake. Large trucks can’t slow down as rapidly as cars. Trucks also have huge blind spots and require lots of road space for maneuvering. In short, trucks are radically different from ordinary cars and must be treated as such. Here are three tips for driving safely around large trucks.
Give Them Lots of Space
There are several reasons for this. First, they have large blind spots immediately behind them and on their left and right sides. When passing them on a multilane highway, do so quickly. Do not hang around in their blind spots for too long. How can you tell when you are in one? If you can’t see the driver’s eyes in any of his mirrors, then he can’t see you either. Pass trucks on their left side whenever possible.
Another reason for giving trucks plenty of space is that they are easily blown around by strong winds when they carry light loads. This is caused by their large surface area. Some trucks have even been blown over by strong winds.
If you have ever seen large strips of rubber on the road, these came from truck tires. Tire blowouts are common and can cause the truck driver to swerve when regaining control.
Don’t Pass Them on the Right When They Are Making a Right Turn
Trucks with long trailers need lots of room. This is why they make very wide turns. Pay attention to their turn signal lights. If it indicates a right turn, don’t try to pass on his right side no matter how much space is there. Trucks often swing left before turning right so that their trailer will clear the right curb. Don’t let this fool you into thinking he is turning left. Trying to squeeze by on the right side during their turn is a common truck/car crash scenario.
Don’t Cut Them Off
It is harder to cut off a car in traffic than a truck because the car has better visibility and more nimble braking. Most cars inadvertently cut off trucks because they treat them as they would other cars. You can avoid this by waiting until you can see the cab of the truck in your rear-view mirror before pulling in front of it. Signal your intention for three seconds before making your move.
If you or someone you care about has been involved in an accident, contact us to discuss your case.