More often than not, nearly every driver has had some sort of uncomfortable moment with an 18-wheeler on the road, whether staying in a blind spot, drifting lanes or even accidents. Trucks carry a large percentage of all cargo shipped in the United States. If you're traveling on an interstate at any moment, it's almost impossible not to travel alongside 18-wheelers.
With the growth of technology and roadways since the 1900s, shipping has increased over the years, resulting in larger and heavier loads. This alone makes driving safely with trucks on the road all the more important. Getting into a car accident with a truck is possibly one of the worst types of crashes. Not only are the chances of a fatality higher due to the sheer size of a truck, but it also has a chance to start a domino effect of other accidents on the highway at the same time.
Fatalities from semitrailers total over 5,000 on average annually. As motorists who share the road with semitrailers, it is essential to do our part to reduce the number of accidents each year by following these tips below.
- Blind spots: By far, the most common result of an accident with a truck is from a passenger riding in a blind spot. Truck drivers have multiple blind spots on both sides of the vehicle, along with additional blind spots behind and in front. The worst thing a passenger can do is to cruise in a blind spot. The best advice for a driver is to pull ahead or stay behind at a safe distance.
- Patience: There probably has been one time or another where you're stuck waiting for a semi to make a turn or reverse into a specific spot. It is crucial to practice patience in these types of scenarios. It is no easy task turning or reversing a 48-foot trailer without hitting anything.
- Cutoffs: Another common result of accidents is cutting off a semitrailer. Trucks take as much as three times the distance to stop fully compared to passenger cars. Trying to sneak into a small pocket of traffic in front of a semitrailer or brake abruptly and turn can cause a serious accident.
- Merging: It takes a significant amount of effort for trucks to merge and switch lanes in traffic. The best thing you can do is to help assist them. When you see a truck's turn signal on, leave enough space to merge successfully.
- Awareness: Last but not least is simply be aware. A passenger car can maneuver much more quickly than a semitrailer. Ensuring that you are aware of your surroundings and practicing safe driving habits will alleviate any potential risks on the road.
While the truck industry has improved and continued to grow in terms of safety measures, it is still essential for all individuals to do their part in practicing safety on the road. A good rule of thumb to remember for trucks is that if you can't see the driver in the mirror, he more than likely can't see you. For more information and resources, visit hupy.com.
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