Most drivers would do just about anything to avoid a getting in an accident with a truck. A passenger vehicle always runs the higher risk of severe or fatal injuries when involved in a collision with an 80,000 lb tractor-trailer. Because of this, drivers should be aware of the common causes of truck accidents and what steps they can take to prevent them.
Luckily, drivers can avoid some of the most common causes of truck accidents by driving defensively and following the rules of the road. Here are four simple guidelines drivers should follow to safely share the road with trucks:
Don’t drive in the “No-Zones”
Avoid driving in the truck driver’s blind spots directly in front, behind and beside the truck. Accidents can be lethal when trucks collide with a car they cannot see in their No-Zones. A good way to stay out of these high-risk areas is to be sure you can always see the truck’s mirrors.
Don’t squeeze into a space
Resist the temptation to pull into a tight space next to a truck. Many accidents are caused when drivers accidentally pass or pull up next to a truck that is in the process of turning. Check for the signs that the truck driver intends to turn before approaching an intersection.
Do choose the right time to pass
Limit the time you spend in the No-Zones when passing a truck. Passing a truck can be risky since the driver usually cannot see you. Always signal your turn, pass on the left and make sure you have more than enough open road to pass the entire length of the truck.
Do keep a safe headway distance
Provide enough distance before merging or pulling in front of a truck. All too often, accidents occur when trucks are forced to swerve or brake because drivers pull too closely in front of them. Be sure to gauge how fast the truck is traveling and provide enough space to clear the No-Zone in front of the truck.
Preventative measures are essential for passenger vehicles and truck drivers alike. Trucks have the added responsibility to follow special safety regulations that ensure they’re not putting surrounding vehicles at risk.