Truck drivers face danger on the road every day. That is why it is always important to stay alert when driving along with commercial trucks. Due to commercial trucks’ sheer size and weight, accidents are usually devastating, resulting in serious injuries or death. These accidents can be significantly reduced by utilizing safe driving techniques when sharing the road with large trucks. Here are some tips for staying safe while sharing the road with commercial trucks.
Give Trucks Space
Due to their size, trucks require a lot more space to maneuver, turn, and change lanes. A semi-truck driving at highway speed needs about 200 yards to come to a complete stop. This is double the distance required by a passenger vehicle traveling at the same speed. Trucks also need more space because a smaller vehicle behind can get sucked under the trailer causing fatalities if they brake suddenly. The same can happen with truck rollovers caused by high winds. Tire blowouts are relatively common for commercial trucks, and the flying tire pieces can cause accidents.
Avoid Blind Spots
Commercial trucks have more and larger blind spots than smaller vehicles because of their size. It is essential to familiarize yourself with all of the potential blind spots of your truck and other cars on the road alongside you. Keeping lane changes to a minimum wherever possible is a good idea, and checking your side-view mirrors at least once every 10 seconds is also an effective way to increase safety and awareness. A good rule of thumb to remember when driving near a semi-truck is that if you cannot see the truck driver in their own side mirror, they can not see your car.
Always Use Your Signals
It is essential that you use your signals whenever turning or changing lanes to let other drivers around you be aware of your intentions. This allows them ample time to slow down and avoid a potential collision. Remember that commercial trucks have a wider stopping distance than other vehicles.
Avoid Distracted Driving
This rule goes for all drivers, not just commercial truck drivers. Distractions such as texting, phone calls, eating, playing with the radio all reduce your reaction time and delay your reflexes. You should always be focusing on the road and other drivers. It is best to pull over and stop if you need to take care of something urgently.
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