Data shows that nearly 80 percent of collisions with large trucks are caused by drivers of passenger vehicles. Part of the reason for this is that many drivers never learned how to safely share the road with these big rigs.
Read on to learn how you can improve highway safety by becoming aware of the dangers truck drivers face on the road every day.
Give the truck drivers enough space to maneuver
Tailgating big rigs is extremely dangerous. A quick stop can cause a passenger car to underride the rear trailer. Such accidents frequently cause catastrophic non-survivable injuries to drivers and front seat passengers.
Tailgating drivers also are at risk of serious injuries and death from debris from tire blowouts on the highway. Big rig tires have 110 pounds per square inch of air. Vehicles near a truck tire blowout could have their windows shattered from the concussion from the exploding tire.
Mirrors show distorted distances
Every driver has read the warning printed on their side mirrors stating that “objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear.” This optical illusion can make drivers think they have allowed enough clearance to merge back into their lane after passing when in fact they have not.
Drivers who cut off big rigs cause the truckers to slam on their brakes. This, in turn, can cause the truck drivers to lose control and strike other vehicles.
Be safe. Make sure you don’t merge until you see the highway pavement in the side mirrors.
Avoid truckers’ blind spots
Semitrucks have multiple blind spots on each side of the trailer and just behind and in front of the truck. One way to tell if you are in a big rig’s blind spot is to check and see if the mirrors on the cab are in view.
No? Assume you are in a blind spot and invisible to the truck driver. Move out of these “no-go zones” as quickly as possible.
Signal your intentions
This is so basic, but drivers ignore their turn signals daily. Truckers are not mind-readers. Drivers about to merge, turn or switch lanes should flip the appropriate signal approximately a quarter of a mile from their exit and 50′ before turning.
These tips can help drivers avoid deadly collisions with large trucks they encounter on the highway.
Source: Women in Trucking, “Sharing the Road with Semi-Trucks,” Sandy Long, accessed Aug. 25, 2017