In this post Stillman and Friedland give you our top tips for avoiding truck accidents. As we have noted in previous posts, there are two major points to consider when sharing a motorway with large trucks:
- Trucks have large blind spots; this means that every truck driver is operating with much more limited visibility than a car and their large weight and mass add much greater potential to cause damage. Always keep in mind that your position relative to the truck makes you invisible to the truck driver most of the time. The truck has blind spots in all directions, front sides, and rear.
- Trucks cannot stop as quickly as cars. They have a much longer braking distance, which means that even if they see you, they may not be able to stop in time. Add to this the possibility of slower driver response time due to long hours on the road, and chances of braking to avoid a crash drop even more.
Here are two key situations that according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration characterize a high percentage of truck crashes:
- Rear-end collisions
- Lane changes, and exiting roadway
How can you avoid crashes in these situations? Firstly, just as you would speed up or change lanes to avoid a tailgater, you need to change your position to avoid being immediately ahead of a truck. This is even more important when road conditions are challenging. Remember, smaller vehicles are invisible at short range to the truck driver.
Secondly, always be alert to trucks exiting the roadway or changing lanes. Please note that about 20% more accidents occur when truck move to the right. Why? Truckers, like all drivers, have greater visibility on the driver’s side. Even if you are at a distance from the truck changing lanes or exiting, be alert. Multi-car pile-ups happen when cars are following too closely at too great a speed.
We are looking out for you, because we care!