Large trucks cause some of the most severe motor vehicle collisions. Whether you’re driving to work in the morning or rushing to pick your kid up from school in the afternoon, you must stay well-prepared while you’re on the road.
As trucks are much larger than cars, truck accidents typically result in severe injury or death for the passengers or driver of the other vehicle. In 2017, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that over 3,000 of the 4,761 people who died in large truck accidents were occupants of the other vehicle.
Consider following a few safety measures to protect yourself on the road:
- Stay out of blind spots. Larger vehicles have larger blind spots, meaning it’s much more difficult for truck drivers to see you on the road. Both sides of the truck and the back are some of the most dangerous blind spots.
- Don’t tailgate. As a truck driver can’t see directly behind them, following too closely to a truck can be extremely unsafe. Trucks are also higher from the ground, so if a truck stops unexpectedly, your car may get stuck underneath.
- Don’t cut off a truck. Passing and merging in front of a truck should always be done with caution as trucks need more time to slow down or stop. If you cut closely in front of a truck, a truck may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision.
- Wait to turn. Trucks take up much more space when they make a right or left turn. Don’t try to pass alongside them when they make a turn; instead, wait until they’ve completed the turn to follow. Many trucks will also start their turn from the center lane to give themselves extra space, so you should watch for their signals to stay alert.
- Don’t be aggressive. The best way to drive around trucks is to stay patient. If you drive too aggressively by switching lanes or tailgating, you increase your risk of an accident. Stay calm and drive carefully to remain as safe as possible.
Passenger vehicle drivers should always exercise caution while on the road but especially when driving around large trucks. Taking these precautions will keep you safe and protected from a terrible accident during your commute.