Part of healthy living is being safe. Do you really know how to safely share the road with big rigs? If you have any doubt whatsoever, please read this guest post by Dan Neilson. He does an excellent job sharing road safety tips that truck drivers wish everyone knew.
Do you commute to work? Maybe you drive down the highway to get to school. No matter the reason for your daily travels, it’s not unusual to share the road with big rigs. While truck drivers do their best to ensure the safety of themselves and those they share the road with, part of that responsibility lies with you.
When it comes to sharing the road safely, here’s what truckers would like for you to know:
1. Cutting in Front
When it comes to accidents between cars and large trucks, occupants of the car sustain 78% of the fatalities. Consider that statistic the next time you think about cutting too closely in front of a truck. Trucks and other large vehicles take longer to stop than passenger vehicles. If you cut too closely in front of a truck and have to slam on your brakes, you are virtually guaranteed to be hit from the rear. In fact, depending on the severity of the crash, you may be lucky to walk away.
2. Blind Spots
No matter if a truck has side mirrors, towing mirrors or a rear-view mirror, each big rig has blind spots. A good rule of thumb is this: If you can’t see the truck driver in his own mirror, he can’t see you. Do your best to stay out of a truck’s blind spots. Rather than driving next to a truck, try to stay behind or gain enough speed to safely pass. Driving alongside a truck is much more dangerous than staying in a different position.
3. Keep Your Eyes on the Road
Staying attentive to your driving is especially important when you see trucks around. Inattentive drivers cause the majority of accidents. You aren’t only putting yourself at danger, but everyone else who is sharing the road with these large trucks. Your make-up, breakfast, text message, phone call or email can wait until you are safely off of the road.
Trucks make wide turns. Not only that, but when they are turning, it can be more difficult to see small cars beside them. If you are behind a truck and coming to an intersection or off ramp, pay attention to the truck’s turn signals. Never pull beside a truck that is turning, no matter which direction. It’s likely that the driver won’t be able to see you and that you’ll be caught between the truck and whatever is lining the side of the road.
5. Aggressive Driving
Aggressive drivers can be just as dangerous as inattentive drivers. Most truck drivers are responsible and respectful of their fellow drivers; some are not. No matter how irritated you get at a truck driver, don’t lose your cool. Cutting in front of a truck, “brake checking” and weaving in and out of traffic are all very dangerous. Keep your wits about you while driving, no matter what other drivers are doing.
We all have to share the road. It’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure they get to their destination safely. By following the tips above, you’ll be better equipped to share the highway with all vehicles, regardless of their size.
About the Author
Writer Dan Nielson is an avid blogger. Interested in improving your safety on the road? Look into trailer fifth wheel hitches.
Do you know any truckers who’ve shared with you what it’s like to drive transport trucks? Did they impart any road safety wisdom you can share with us?