8 out of 10 fatalities in commercial truck accidents are individuals in other cars, cyclists, and pedestrians. Due to the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks, accidents are usually devastating, resulting in serious injuries or death. These accidents can be greatly reduced using safe driving practices when sharing the road with large trucks.
Give the Truck Space
Trucks require a lot of space to maneuver turns and lane changes. A semi-truck traveling at highway speed needs about 200 yards to come to a complete stop. This is double the distance that a smaller vehicle moving at the same speed needs.
Another reason to give trucks space is that if they break suddenly, a smaller vehicle behind can get sucked under the trailer causing fatalities. The same can happen with truck rollovers caused by high winds.
Tire blowouts are fairly common for commercial trucks and the flying tire pieces can smash your windscreen.
Stay Out of the Truck’s Blind Spots
A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you cannot see the truck driver in their own side mirror chances are they can’t see your car. Due to the width and length of commercial trucks, they have huge blind spots that you should avoid.
These blind spots include:
- 30 feet behind the truck
- 20 feet ahead of the truck
- 1 lane on the driver’s side, half the length of the trailer
- 2 lanes on the right side
Always Use Your Signals!
Always let the truck driver ahead of or behind you know about your intentions to turn or overtake. This gives them ample time to brake and avert disaster. Remember trucks cannot stop quickly and the emergency brakes could result in a rollover.
Lower Your High Beams
There is a common misconception that because trucks are so much higher, the drivers are not affected by bright headlights.
You should adjust your car’s high beams lower when there are oncoming trucks or if they are ahead of you. The bright lights reflect off the huge side mirrors of the truck, blinding the driver and making it harder for him to drive safely.
Avoid Driving Between Two Trucks
Not only would you be driving in the blind spots of these trucks but you could also get caught in a wind draft between them. It is much safer to wait a few minutes for one truck to outpace the other before overtaking.
This goes for driving in general whether or not you are near a truck. Distractions such as texting, phone calls, eating, animated conversations with other passengers, fiddling with the radio reduce your response time and delay your reflexes. Focus on the road and other drivers. Pull over and stop if any of these activities are urgent.
This may seem like a no-brainer but it bears mentioning. In the event of an accident, seatbelts help to mitigate injuries by keeping you in your seat.
Truck Breakdown Service in Gainesville
Of course, road safety is a two-way endeavor when sharing the road with trucks. Your safety on the road ends where the next driver’s responsible behavior begins. Truck drivers should ensure they also follow the above safety tips.
They should also make sure they are well-rested and their trucks receive regular checks and service before going on the road. This is why it is important to have on call a professional breakdown or semi-truck breakdown service that can do maintenance wherever you are.
For truck breakdown services in Gainesville contact Road Rescue Inc. today!