Being involved in a motor vehicle accident of any kind can and will put your life at risk. Whether you are a motorcycle driver or behind the wheel of a mid-sized sedan with a steel frame, anything can happen at the point of impact. The risk of motorist fatality increases when a commercial truck is involved. Trucks are more difficult to stop and have thousands of pounds of crushing force, making it so that victims are often severely injured or killed. You likely never want to get into an accident with an 18 wheeler, but what you learned in your driver’s education class isn’t enough to keep you and your passengers safe. Here’s what you should keep on your mind when you drive near a commercial truck so that you are able to stay out of a serious accident.
Commercial Trucks Have Several Blind Spots
Commercial truck drivers sit higher up off of the road when compared to standard sized cars. Although they might be able to see further in the distance, observing cars that are in their peripheral vision and to their rear is quite difficult. For this reason, commercial trucks are fitted with lots of mirrors that can be adjusted so that truck operators have a greater range of vision. Still, truck drivers have many blind spots that you should be aware of. One basic rule to follow is that if you are driving behind a commercial truck and you can’t see his or her mirrors, then the driver can’t see you either. Try to keep a fair amount of distance between your car and any commercial trucks driving ahead so that you don’t have a collision if the truck brakes suddenly.
How to Brake When Driving In Front of an 18 Wheeler Properly
Simply knowing that commercial trucks need more time to come to a total and complete stop than smaller cars should help you to drive more carefully. Whether you’re driving in thick traffic or are on a major highway, you should be cautious about the distance between the back of your car and the front of an 18 wheeler. Always start braking well ahead of any areas that appear to have slower moving traffic. This will allow the truck driver behind you to properly brake and maintain a safe distance. If you are going to change lanes and you are entering a lane where a commercial truck is present, be certain that the truck driver sees you before you complete the lane change.
Being on the Road with Commercial Trucks During Inclement Weather
Snowy, foggy, and rainy weather means that it is difficult for drivers to see and also that the road itself is more dangerous. Commercial trucks are generally driven much more cautiously when there is inclement weather, but you can’t trust other motorists to do the same. Stay aware of any and all commercial trucks driving around you during bad weather conditions and slow down until you feel that you will be able to control your car even if you hydroplane or hit a patch of ice.
Accidents that involve commercial trucks cause serious damage to vehicles as well as the motorists that are in them. Simply put, you don’t want to get into an accident with a truck if it can in any way be avoided. Practice extreme caution when you are driving around 18 wheelers and you will be able to make it home safe and sound.