Getting into an accident with a large truck is a scary thing to think about, and the problem is that those accidents are not as rare as one would think. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 159,000 people got injuries in accidents involving large trucks in 2019. As a car driver, you would be at a disadvantage if you get into a crash with a large truck, and you’d probably get more serious injuries than the truck driver. Because of this, you must know what to do when sharing the road with a large truck.
Be mindful of the truck’s blind spots
Large trucks have more significant blind spots than regular cars do. Their size does not allow the driver to see entirely what surrounds them, and when someone drives on their blind spot, the probability of a serious accident increases. In these no-zones, your car is invisible to the driver. The problem with this is that if the driver cannot see you, they might change lanes or swerve without noticing you and, ultimately, that would result in a crash.
These large vehicles have blind spots on the back, the front, and both sides, especially on the truck’s right side. The rear-end blind spot is also huge compared to a car, as it extends to 200 feet behind a truck. The main rule is that if you can see the truck’s mirrors, the driver should see you. However, to reach the truck’s front side, you must pass through the truck’s blind spots. As there is no way that the driver can see you while you pass them, you must always pass them on the left.
Maintain a safe distance
As mentioned, the rear-end blind spot is very large, so you must keep a wide distance between you and the truck to be safe. To get out of this blind spot, focus on an object and when the truck passes by, start counting. You must be at least four seconds away from the truck. You must leave an eight-second gap if the truck signals that they want to change lanes.
Be aware of wide turns
Trucks can’t turn too tight, so they must make a wide turn. Because of that, you must also leave a lot of space when they turn. If you go next to them when they turn, you can get caught in what the Federal Motorist Carrier Safety Administration calls a “right turn squeeze”.
A driver’s responsibility
One cannot be too careful when sharing the road with a large truck. However, you must know that the driver could make a mistake and cause an accident even if you take proper safety measures. But these drivers are trained, and most times, they drive safely. So if you are a responsible driver, you have nothing to fear.