Over 4,000 deadly incidents involving huge vehicles or buses occur each year. While many people think of truck drivers as enormous bullies on the road, the truth is that automobile drivers are to blame for 72 percent of heavy truck-passenger vehicle collisions. Driving too quickly, following too closely, and failing to stay in the proper lane are all common causes of deadly 18-wheeler accidents.
Accidents involving 18-wheelers and other huge trucks are frequently fatal, and it’s easy to see why. 18-wheeler trucks can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds. That’s 40 tonnes of mass barreling down the road. The average passenger car weighs only 4,000 pounds or two tonnes. So there’s no question which vehicle will sustain the most damage in a collision, which is why passengers and drivers in automobiles and compact vehicles should exercise extra caution when driving around large trucks.
While there are a few bad apples, most truck drivers are cautious professionals who care about your and their safety. They practice defensive driving tactics to keep you safe on the road, but there’s only so much they can do while you’re behind the wheel of a massive truck. Passenger vehicle drivers’ responsibility is to keep safe and provide trucks the space they require to properly navigate through traffic.
According to off road wheels experts, driving with huge rigs on the road can be hazardous, but you must share the road to stay safe. Follow these guidelines to prevent becoming a fatal statistic when driving around 18-wheelers.
Get Some Experience With Safe Passing.
Passing another car safely is usually a good idea. However, passing carefully near a commercial truck is necessary because the massive, heavy vehicle cannot stop as fast as a passenger vehicle. Therefore, truck drivers must take time to respond and alter their speed and braking as needed.
Always approach a huge vehicle from the left side, making it simpler for the driver to notice you. Pass at a constant speed and always communicate clearly and ahead of time. Ensure you can see the truck in your rearview mirror when merging back into the lane in front of it to maintain a safe distance.
Hold back when a truck passes you to give the driver plenty of room to navigate safely and effectively in front of you.
Never Cut off Trucks
Trucks are far heavier than passenger vehicles, taking much longer to stop. Stopping an 18-wheeler carrying a full load at 60 miles per hour may take three football fields. That’s a long way from stopping immediately, which means they could drive right through everything is in their way — including your car — as they try to stop. You don’t want to get in the line of a truck, so take better care not to cut too near in front of it. It’s also a great way to avoid driving directly in front of a truck if there’s another safer route.
Remember that trucks have a fatal flaw in front of them, so they may not even see you’re there, raising the risk of being hit from behind by a 40-ton vehicle.
Never Tailgate a Truck
Tailgating a truck is a recipe for disaster. Large dirt may follow trucks and damage your windshield, for example. But, more crucially, getting into a rear-end collision with a heavy truck is highly dangerous because your windshield can struck. Furthermore, truck drivers can see and respond to events on the road ahead of other vehicles due to their elevated position. That means they may apply the brakes before you know you need to as well. Therefore, it’s critical to give them room to avoid colliding with them. Also, remember that trucks get a rear blind spot, so automobiles following too closely may go unnoticed.
Give More Time
When changing lanes or turning nears a commercial vehicle, switch on your signal sooner to allow the driver additional time to react and slow down if necessary.
If approaching traffic is likely to slow or stop unexpectedly, avoid merging into the lane ahead of a huge truck. Trucks take slower to slow down, and a fast lane change may not provide enough time for the driver to prevent colliding with your bumper.
On Mountain Roads, Stay Out Of Sight:
Leave the area if you’re going down a hill with a truck following you. Trucks have a harder time stopping at any time, but it’s extremely challenging when they’re faced with downward momentum and possibly overheated brakes on the mountains. In the highlands, runaway trucks can and often happen, and it’s better not to go in their way. On a hilly road, if you’re going slower than they are, a truck might not have been able to slow down in time to avoid a rear-end crash.
Extend the Following Distance
Maintain a four-second driving gap between your automobile and a commercial truck at all times. A big rig driver cannot see anyone if you are tailgating him. If you cannot stop in time or are rear-ended while following a huge truck closely, your vehicle may be shoved somewhere under the trailer, resulting in a devastating accident.
Maintaining a safe distance allows more time to respond to tire blowouts and rollovers accompanied by strong winds. For example, if you’re stuck in traffic behind a truck, leave enough room between your car and the truck in case it starts to roll backward.
Be On the Lookout for Wide Turns.
Semi-trailer vehicles require more space to turn than passenger cars, and the cab and trailer travel separate paths. As a result, a truck might have to swing left to make space for a sharp turn, or it may begin the turn in the center lane.
Passing a truck with its turn signal on is prohibited, as is driving between the truck and the curb. Ensure your car is securely behind the line while coming to a stop at a junction, as trucks require that space to turn.
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