Sharing the road with an 18-wheeler can be nerve-wracking. Whether you’re driving at high speeds on the highway, stuck on a one-lane road, or stopped in traffic, the size and weight of an 18-wheeler can feel overwhelming.
The damage that 18-wheeler wrecks can cause is devastating. That’s why it’s essential always to remain alert and aware while on the road. Truck drivers are specially trained to operate their large vehicles, but accidents still happen. Here are four tips to help you stay proactive and prevent 18-wheeler accidents:
1. Leave plenty of space.
When you’re driving behind an 18-wheeler, it can significantly impact your view of the road. Leave more space between you and the truck than you would with a passenger car. Extra space will allow you more time to react if there is a sudden stop or swerve in traffic.
2. Keep out of the blind spot.
You’ve probably seen the sticker on the back of many 18-wheelers that says, “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” This is an excellent rule of thumb to keep in mind when driving behind and around a truck. When you do pass a truck, it’s safer to pass on the driver’s side. This is because the passenger side of an 18-wheeler has a larger blind spot and can be riskier.
3. Don’t make sudden passes.
Once again, always leave plenty of room between you and an 18-wheeler. A truck is much heavier than a passenger car and requires more distance to stop. Avoid quickly changing lanes or cutting in front of a large truck. Patience is key. Taking a few extra minutes to wait until it is safe to pass a truck is more ideal than making a risky move and causing a collision.
4. Watch for turns.
A truck needs more space to turn than a car. Always use caution when you see that a semi is turning. The driver has less visibility of their surroundings. Remember to keep your distance and assume that the tuck is moving faster than you think. A truck requires most of an intersection to make a turn. Ensure that your vehicle is out of the way and that you’re always alert and watching.
While it’s important to be a defensive driver, it’s just as vital to be a proactive driver as well. Keeping your distance and playing it safe is the best way to avoid collisions with 18-wheelers and other cars on the road.
If you have been involved in an auto or truck accident that was not your fault, contact Smith Injury Law today and schedule a free consultation!