Most Texans rely on driving to get around. You probably spend hours every week on the road, and no matter how comfortable you are with your daily routes, one single accident can change your life forever.
Some of the most dangerous accidents occur from large trucks. In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 4,761 people killed in accidents with large trucks. Over 3,000 of those fatalities were the driver or passengers of the other vehicle.
Stay safe on the road by avoiding large trucks with the following tips:
- Keep clear of blind spots. As trucks are much larger, their blind spots are larger too. There are many areas of the road the truck driver can’t see, including both sides of the truck and the back. A general rule of thumb is if you cannot see the driver in the side-view mirror, then assume the driver cannot see you.
- Don’t cut off a truck. Trucks can take up to 40% longer to stop. If you try to merge or pass in front of a truck too closely, they will not have enough time to slow down, which can cause a dangerous collision.
- Wait for wide turns. Trucks have a much wider turning radius, meaning they need extra space to make a right or left turn. Trucks may even turn from the center lane on the road to account for that added space. Keep an eye on the truck’s signals and wait for them to make the turn before you follow.
- Avoid tailgating. When you’re behind a truck, you’re in a big blind spot. If you drive too close to the truck and an accident occurs, you may get stuck underneath the truck due to trucks being higher off the ground.
- Pass with caution. If you need to pass a truck, do it carefully as you will be in the truck’s blind spots while you pass. Make sure to signal early and give yourself plenty of space in front of the truck before you switch lanes.
- Don’t drive under the influence. Never drive a vehicle while drunk or under the influence of drugs, as it will impair your judgment while on the road. Keep your mind clear and focused while you drive and especially while you are around large trucks.
Whether you’re driving ten minutes to a friend’s house or you’re on the road for an hour during your morning commute, you must take precautions to ensure your safety.