5 Safety Tips for Driving Near and Around Trucks
When a small car gets into an accident with a large commercial truck, the results can be devastating. The sheer mass and force inherent in the size of truck can mean even the most minor collisions with the can mean severe injuries or even death.
Driving near or around commercial trucks can be dangerous, so always take the necessary precautions. Keep in mind that you have fewer blind spots, more room to maneuver, and have a shorter stopping distance compared to truck drivers. Use these to your advantage, and keep the following tips in mind to reduce the overall risks for an accident when driving beside a truck.
1. Patience is the key
The size of the truck makes it slower than your passenger car. Unfortunately, this also means that it can do more damage to you than the other way around. Practice utmost patience when driving around trucks. Giving the truck a few extra seconds is a small price to pay.
2. Give the truck plenty of space
Trucks need more room on the roadway than passenger vehicles. Always drive at a distance of at least four car lengths behind a truck to give yourself enough time to react in case the truck brakes all of a sudden. Never attempt to pass a truck from the right, as you could end up getting trapped between the truck and the sidewalk.
3. Make sure the truck driver sees you
If you cannot see the truck's mirrors, that means you are in the truck's blind spot. As you approach a truck from behind, position yourself where you can see the truck's mirrors to decrease the risk of driving into the truck's blind spot and facing an accident. Likewise, when the truck is passing you, give the truck the right of way and reduce your speed. By giving the truck more space to pass safely, you get out of the truck's blind spot faster.
4. Take extra precautions at intersections and inclines
When a truck is turning, don't try to get ahead. Allow the truck to complete its turn before trying to pass it. Additionally, when you're traveling uphill or downhill, the truck may decrease or increase in speed as the driver sees fit, so keep a good distance behind the truck in these areas and don't make any attempts to pass.
5. Stay vigilant
You can't afford to be distracted around a truck. Check your mirrors regularly, be alert at all times, and avoid distractions such as texting, phone calls, eating, or adjusting the AC or radio. Most of all, make sure you and your passengers are wearing your seatbelt.