There are numerous generic safety tips that apply to all kinds of collisions, including commercial vehicle crashes. You should always ensure that everyone in your vehicle uses their safety restraints. Paying close attention to the flow of traffic around you and adjusting your driving habits for weather conditions could help you avoid a collision in just about any situation.
However, there are certain traffic risks that are essentially unique to driving near large commercial trucks. Their overall size makes them more challenging for drivers to manage and can also create unique safety hazards for other drivers nearby.
What are the three most crucial safety tips when sharing the road with big trucks?
Respect their longer stopping distances
One of the easiest ways for you to cause a crash with a big truck is to merge in front of one and then travel at a slower speed. It takes much longer for commercial trucks to come to a complete stop or slow down, so when drivers merge too closely in front of them, a rear override collision could occur.
You generally want to leave twice as much space between the rear end of your vehicle and the front end of a commercial truck than you would for another passenger vehicle.
Watch carefully for wide turns
Commercial trucks can take up two or more lanes of traffic when turning. If you don’t give them adequate space, they might crash right into you or clip you.
You need to be aware of those wide turns when pulling up next to a truck at an intersection with multiple lanes or even when across the intersection from a commercial vehicle.
Avoid their blind spots when possible
Sometimes, during bumper-to-bumper traffic jams, it is frankly impossible to stay out of a truck’s blind spots. However, most of the time, drivers can maneuver away from the lanes directly next to the truck’s trailer or the area right behind the trailer. Staying out of those blind spots will limit the possibility of the truck driver performing a maneuver and hitting you because they don’t know that you are there.
Engaging in the right safety practices on the road could help you avoid being the one to blame if you ever get into a collision with a commercial truck.