Top Driving Tips to Avoid Truck Accidents
Safe driving is so important, and when you look at the statistics and see that around six million auto accidents occur every single year in the US, it's clear to see just how vital it is to follow the rules, stick to the speed limit, use your signals and mirrors, and always take driving seriously, never letting yourself get distracted or lose concentration.
It's especially important to drive safely and sensibly whenever trucks are around. Trucks play a huge role in the nation's economy, helping to support the flow of goods across the country and beyond, but they can be genuine hazards on the road, due to their huge size, enormous weight, and a vast array of blind spots.
A lot of the worst types of accidents involve trucks, such as wide right turn truck accidents, which can lead to total destruction of smaller vehicles and serious injuries or even death for those involved. This is why it's essential to adapt your approach and drive with added care and caution whenever trucks are near. This guide will go over some top tips to help out.
Keep Your Distance
One of the first big tips and key golden rules to follow whenever you're driving behind or alongside a truck is to try and keep your distance from it as much as you possibly can. When you're behind it, stay back so that you can slow down and stop if the truck suddenly brakes, and so that the driver of the truck can see you. When beside a truck, maintain a distance too, just in case it starts changing lanes or initiating a turn.
This can be the difference-maker between staying safe and having a dangerous accident, and that extra bit of distance could truly save your life and the lives of your passengers. If you get too close to a truck, you won't have much leeway to maneuver if you need to evade danger, and there's a much higher chance of finding yourself in one of the trucker's blind spots too.
Know the Blind Spots
Another useful tip to keep in mind when it comes to driving near trucks is to be aware of their blind spots so that you can avoid them as much as possible. There are times when you will inevitably have to enter or pass through a truck blind spot, such as while passing it on the highway, but if you know where the spots are, you can minimize the amount of time you spend in them.
This can make a real difference because a lot of accidents occur due to the fact that truckers simply aren't able to see vehicles behind or around them. A trucker might look in their mirrors and not see a vehicle beside them, for example, and then start changing lanes, colliding with a car that was in one of the blind spots at the time.
Keep Distractions to a Minimum
Distractions are one of the biggest problems for drivers to deal with in the modern world, causing thousands of accidents every single year and being to blame for a lot of injuries and fatalities too. And in this day and age, there are more potential distractions in your car than ever before, from your smartphone and other personal devices to your in-car entertainment and GPS systems too.
It's very easy for drivers to lose focus on the road when they want to answer a call, check their social media, update the GPS, or adjust the car's radio, but all of these actions can be very dangerous and could cause accidents to happen, especially when trucks are near. It's vital to avoid anything that might get you distracted while passing trucks and driving in general.
Avoid Passing on the Right
The most common place to see trucks is on the highways and freeways, as truckers and trucking companies rely on America's highway network to transport freight as efficiently and quickly as possible across long distances. Since trucks are huge and heavy vehicles, and the highway is designed to allow for fast driving, it's only natural that you'll probably want to get past most of the trucks you see along the way.
However, you need to pass trucks properly. Some drivers fail to follow the rules and try to pass trucks on the right side, rather than the left. This is not only illegal but also very dangerous. Trucks have more blind spots on the right side, so if you try passing this way, you're more likely to enter those blind spots and cause an accident.
Keep Your Car Visible
We've already spoken about the importance of avoiding blind spots and trying to make sure that truckers can see your vehicle as much as possible, but it's worth reinforcing this point by also talking about the importance of lights and signals too. In dark or dimly lit conditions, visibility can become an even bigger problem for truck drivers, so it's wise to help them out by making good use of your car's lights.
Always use signals when changing lanes on the highway and preparing to pass a truck or make a turn, as this will help to let the driver know your intentions and prepare accordingly, as well as making your car easier to see. Be sure to use headlights too whenever the light levels start to drop due to clouds or the arrival of the evening.
Truck accidents can be some of the worst of all, as these huge and heavy vehicles can do a lot of damage when they collide with smaller cars, and this is why it's so vital to do what you can to avoid them. Carry out some research to learn more about truck blind spots and defensive driving techniques when near trucks, and keep these tips in mind in order to keep yourself and your passengers safe whenever you have to pass one, helping to set a great and safe example for other drivers to follow too.