Share the Road with Trucks
Nearly 11 times a day, there are fatal truck accidents, leaving about 4,000 people dead every year. These statistics are according to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). On top of that, more than 100,000 people are injured every year in truck crashes. The numbers may get worse if we are not cautious when sharing the road with large semi-trucks. If we view this situation from the truck driver’s perspective, we might be better able to understand how difficult it can be to maneuver such a large vehicle through traffic. This is why it is crucial that we do our part to learn simple driving rules that can help to save lives.
Reasons to give a Trucker Space
We have already established that sharing the road with large vehicles can be dangerous. However, by driving more courteously and consciously we can help prevent many of the accidents that are portrayed by the statistics above. It is crucial that we also drive with patience. This helps stave off road rage and other risky behaviors on the road. Here are some tips that can help when driving alongside a large truck.
- If you are attempting to overtake a semi-truck, be sure that you can see the front of the truck in the rear view mirror before going in front. Always use appropriate signaling. Never flash your headlights as a signal that you wish to change lanes. The truck driver could think you are giving a signal that a policeman is up ahead, or that you would like them to change lanes. This will only serve to confuse the truck driver.
- Keep in mind that blind spots are everywhere. Most are on the right and rear, so be sure to pass the semi-truck on the left. If you are going to overtake, do so without much hesitation. If you drive alongside the truck for a long period of time, you may become invisible to the driver due to the blind spots. This is also known as riding in a trucker’s blind spots, and can be an easy cause for an accident.
- For whatever reason, do not cause a semi-driver to brake suddenly. Also, never swerve in front of a truck. An 80,000-pound truck going 65 mph can travel as far as 300 feet after hitting the brakes. This is a sure way to cause a serious accident, as it is almost impossible for the trucker to brake in time to avoid a collision.
- On no account should you cut in between a truck and a curb, since drivers cannot see beside them or directly behind them. The truck driver may need to make a wide swing to safely make a turn, especially in urban areas. Pay attention to truck signals and give them plenty of room to maneuver.
- Be patient when a truck driver is reversing. Driving a vehicle of this magnitude is no easy feat. It may take several attempts to maneuver into tight spaces. Stay calm and allow truck drivers to concentrate.
- Give truckers their space. Although their vehicles are large, they can get blown over. Even though trucks are heavy, they can be moved over by the wind. This can result in drifting lanes, so be sure to allow enough space to avoid a collision.
- Be aware that there could be a tire blow out. These trucks carry weight that puts a lot of pressure on the tires, so it as if they are mini-bombs waiting to explode. Be sure not to be caught too close if this happens. The driver of the truck will most likely start swerving, so do give space.
Do you have any tips for sharing the road? Please leave your comments below: