Accidents happen. Collisions are an inevitable part of being on the road, but when it comes to big trucks, extra care should be taken.
Take it from the experts — here are 7 tips truckers want you to know for avoiding major accidents.
Leave Extra Space
Trucks have decreased maneuverability, meaning that drivers should take extra care when traveling behind a semi. Leaving more room behind a truck than you would for a passenger car allows for more room to react, stop, or swerve if necessary.
For this reason, the same care should be taken when passing in front of a large truck — if you were to stop or swerve for any reason, a truck would take much more time and space to stop too.
Always Avoid Blind Spots
Those side mirrors on trucks are there for a reason — if you can’t see a driver’s face in one of the mirrors, the driver can’t see you either. Passing on the right side of traffic is never a great idea, but it can be especially precarious for large trucks. If you do have to pass, strive to pass on the left-hand side.
Trucks Need Clearance To Turn
By design, a big truck needs a lot more clearance for a turn than a car. On roads off the interstate, these kinds of turns can get tight. Keep an eye on speed, too — if a truck seems to be moving especially fast heading into a turn, don’t hesitate to hold back. Waiting an extra ten seconds in moments like these can save exponentially more time that comes with a collision or crash.
Pull Over With Care On Shoulders
Sometimes a bad day can be made worse when pulling over after an accident or during car trouble leads to another collision or side-swipe with a semi. Try to find a wide shoulder, and double-check before opening vehicle doors.
Always Give Clear Signals
Turn signals are critical — no matter what kind of vehicles you’re surrounded by — and they can make or break a moment that could lead to an accident. Try not to brake suddenly either.
If a commercial truck has to brake suddenly behind a passenger vehicle, a car can actually slide under a truck. This is yet another reason that leaving plenty of room on all sides is critical.
Quick instincts are a good thing, but when it comes to driving, the fewer surprises the better. Snaking in and out of traffic isn’t just disruptive — it’s dangerous!
Don't Get Distracted
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the best way to avoid a collision is by avoiding distracted driving. Put down the phone, make your playlist before you hit the road, and pull off at the next exit if you feel yourself nodding off.
We get it. Highway driving in particular can be long and boring. Sometimes, that extra coffee or hour of sleep can make all the difference. Texting while driving is incredibly dangerous — nearly 1 in 4 collisions are the result of texting and driving.
As always, if you are in an accident, call the Bart Durham Injury Law team 24/7 for your free consultation.