3 Safety Tips For Sharing A Road With Big Trucks
Sharing a road with heavy trucks can be a dangerous business. One out of every eight traffic fatalities is caused by a trucking accident, and there are around 500,000 trucking accidents each year. There are many reasons why driving around big trucks is dangerous. Part of the danger comes from the sheer size of the trucks – they're difficult to see around or maneuver around. Driver error is also an issue. For example, experts say that trucks are routinely driven at faster speeds than their tires are capable of handling. Whatever the reasons for the abundance of trucking accidents, it's important to find ways to stay safe on the highway when driving near large trucks. Check out some safety tips to remember.
Pass With Caution
Passing a large truck can be dicey, especially on a single-lane highway when the only way to pass is to swerve into oncoming traffic. In time, this may become less of a problem – developers are working on a "Safety Truck" prototype that is equipped with a front mounted camera to capture the view of the road ahead, and projectors that display a continuous feed of the camera's view, allowing drivers to see oncoming traffic from behind the truck. If this technology becomes commonplace, passing trucks on the highway will become substantially less dangerous.
Until that time, however, it's best not to take chances, even if it's inconvenient. It's much safer to avoid passing a truck on a single-lane highway if it all possible. You may move a bit more slowly until the truck turns or until the highway widens, but you won't crash. On multi-lane highways, you can pass on the left with caution.
Give a Turning Truck Wide Berth
Big trucks are not made for sharp turns. When a large truck needs to make a right turn, it often has to swing wide to the left before turning to the right. If you're too close behind them or beside them, this could cause a collision. When you're driving near a truck that's signaling a turn, it's best to give them plenty of room, and avoid making any move to get closer to the truck until you're sure of what it's going to do.
It's always safest to assume that the driver of the truck cannot see you while he or she is turning, even if you think they should be able to. Trucks do have blind spots, and it's too difficult from your vantage point to know for sure whether or not you're in their blind spot.
Don't Pull Out in Front of a Truck
It's important to understand that a truck can't stop as quickly as an ordinary passenger car. When traveling at a speed of 65 miles per hour, it takes a semi-truck a total of 525 feet to come to a stop. A passenger car going at the same speed should be able to stop after about 316 feet. That's more than a 200 foot difference. That 200 feet could mean the difference between an uneventful day on the highway, or a serious and possibly fatal accident.
For this reason, it's best to avoid squeezing in between a truck and the next car ahead of it, or pulling out suddenly in front of a truck. If you miscalculate, the truck may not have time to stop before hitting you, and swerving is unlikely to be helpful either. If you're traveling in front of a truck, you should avoid hitting the breaks suddenly if you can help it.
Many accidents are avoidable, but unfortunately, not all of them can be prevented, even by the best of drivers. If you're injured in an accident with a big truck, or if you've lost a loved one to a trucking accident, you may be legally entitled to compensation. An experienced trucking accident lawyer can help you file a claim. Visit a site like http://www.hardeeandhardee.com for more information.