Big rig trucks are some of the biggest vehicles on the road. Apart from over sized vehicles, eighteen wheelers are the largest vehicles around. However, just because our sedans, SUVs and pickups have to share the road with them, doesn’t mean that we should have the same rules as we do with other cars. When it comes to these large vehicles, certain precautions should be incurred to minimize the potential of an accident.
Due to the sheer size of big rigs, precautionary measures should be taken to ensure ample room for caution. Semi-trucks take longer than the standard car to decelerate and as a result, additional space should be provided by surrounding vehicles.
According to a Fort Collins truck accident attorney, either party can be responsible, “As with passenger vehicle incidents, many scenarios can lead to a commercial truck accident. Both truck and passenger drivers can be at fault.”
To help minimize truck accidents, below are five tips to help minimize big rig trucking accidents and help keep you safe:
1. Practice Safe Passing – Once you have passed a big rig vehicle, ensure that there is ample space between you and the truck. Do not attempt to “thread the needle” to squeeze into a tight space between you and the truck. Since trucks are larger, they require more space to come to a stop. A truck moving at high speeds takes longer than a smaller vehicle to slow down.
When passing a truck it is always safest to pass in the left hand lane (in countries that drive on the right side of the road). Do not attempt to pass a big rig on the right hand side as it is more difficult for a driver of a big rig to see a vehicle.
2. Increase Cushion Between Yourself and Trucks – Seems pretty straight forward, but the more space in front or back of you the more time there is to stop. If you decide to tailgate a big rig you are in their blind spot and they cannot see you. Allow a four second cushion between your vehicle and the truck.
On the other hand, if a truck is tailgating you, move to the right hand lane and allow the truck to pass. If there is only one lane going in that direction, utilize your hazard lights or signal that you will be using the next available shoulder or turnout.
3. Avoid a Truck’s Blindspots – Ever look at the side view mirrors on a big rig? They are far bigger and have more mirror panels than a traditional passenger vehicle. Although commercial trucks have larger side view mirrors, that does not translate to being able to see the cars directly behind them. Due to the shape and size of a truck, there are far more blindspots than a passenger vehicle.
Avoid tailgating trucks and use the four second rule. If you can’t see a truck’s side view mirrors then odds are, they can’t see you.
4. Watch Out For Wide Turns – Trucks have a larger turning radius than standard passenger vehicles. When you see truck turning, yield to them and allow ample space. Do not attempt to pass a truck while it is turning.
5. Use Common Sense – Stay focused on your surroundings and follow the rules of the road. Always look over your shoulder and provide plenty of cushion between your vehicle and vehicles around you. If it feels unsafe, it probably is.
See Also – How to Prevent a Car Accident