Commercial trucks can be especially risky on the roads because of their size and power. The results of a collision between a vehicle of this enormous size and a smaller vehicle are frequently disastrous.
Because of this, it’s critical that drivers of smaller vehicles understand how to avoid collisions when navigating around trucks.
Follow these eight tips to help avoid truck accidents:
After distracted driving, speeding is the second-leading factor in traffic accidents. Semi-trucks are significantly larger and heavier than cars, which allows them to impact objects with greater force. This makes it even more crucial to be conscious of your speed and distance from other moving objects. Your safety is more important than your time, no matter how important you may think it is to your business. By giving yourself more time to stop, maintaining a reasonable speed will not only increase road safety but also help you save money on fuel.
2. Stay Out of the No-Zone
The extremely wide blind spots that are connected to big rigs are referred to as the “No Zone.” Compared to the typical passenger car, 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers have much larger blind spots. By identifying and avoiding the No-Zone, you can increase your safety as a driver around large trucks. This area surrounds a truck’s four sides and should be avoided whenever possible.
Generally speaking, if you can’t see the truck driver’s face in the rearview mirror, that means they can’t see you. Blind spots on commercial trucks are as much as 20 feet in front of them, with one lane to their left and two lanes to their right. They also extend 30 feet behind the trailer and have one lane in each direction. As opposed to other cars, give a big truck more room to maneuver.
3. Give The Truck Plenty of Space
Due to their larger size, trucks need much more room to turn and stop completely after recognizing a hazard. Furthermore, since tire blowouts are frequent, being close to a commercial truck can be risky if the tire blows out as you are standing next to it. It’s critical to leave plenty of room for these vehicles. Follow these fundamental guidelines to prevent collisions with semi-trucks:
- Give the delivery truck at least four seconds to pass.
- Some trucks may take up two lanes when making a wide turn, so allow even more room when the truck is turning.
- Avoid passing a truck on the right side to avoid getting wedged between the curb and the vehicle.
In addition to being patient when approaching a car, patience is also important to avoid getting angry. Even if the other driver is operating a large vehicle and you think they are to blame, don’t lose your cool if they cut you off or drive too closely to your truck without giving you enough room to pass.
You never know what might occur if a heated argument breaks out between two motorists on the road today, leading to violent behavior and an accident.
5. Truck drivers need to sleep well
It’s critical to adhere to driving hour restrictions and get plenty of rest. It’s crucial to avoid driving while tired or drowsy in order to prevent accidents that could have been avoided. We frequently push ourselves past our limits because of deadlines, but if you’re a truck driver, you shouldn’t skip or put off sleep. Take breaks, keep yourself well-rested and awake, and reach your client safely.
6. Know Your Vehicle
Knowing your truck is essential to preventing accidents because the majority of your job involves long hours of driving on open roads with just you and your truck. Knowing the cause of any strange noises or rattles you hear while driving, as well as whether they require your attention, can greatly improve your efforts to stay safe on the road. Maintenance problems are a frequent reason for accidents, just like when driving on a daily basis in any kind of vehicle. To stay safe and prevent accidents, it’s crucial to regularly inspect your truck and make sure the brakes, steering, and cargo restraints are all in good working order.
7. Avoid distracted driving
Particularly on highways, driving can be tedious and time-consuming. However, avoid getting too tired or distracted while driving. Just keep in mind that other drivers are also idling. Plan your journey in advance so that your favorite trucking movies, podcasts, audiobooks, music, or other forms of entertainment are already queued up. Never use your phone while driving, not even the radio. Wait until you reach a rest area or find a secure place to pull over if you need to make a change. Take a break if you start to get tired. Waiting until you start to nod off puts you in danger because by then you’ve already fallen asleep.
The weather is erratic and subject to sudden change. Your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road will both increase if you are ready to respond to a change in the weather. When the temperature and number of clouds change, exercise caution because this could indicate that the weather is about to change. Maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you, and if the weather is particularly bad, pay close attention to any debris, ice, snow, or water that may have fallen onto the road. Before turning or changing lanes, keep your blinker on a little longer than usual to give other drivers more time to react and ensure they see you. It’s likely that other trucks are stopped for a reason when you see them, so it might be safest for you to stop as well. Your safety and the safety of those around you should always come first.
Most Accidents Are Preventable
The majority of accidents can, in fact, be avoided.
As a newly licensed truck driver, you’ll quickly learn that once you’ve completed the necessary training and your trucking company gives you your own vehicle to operate for the first time, you’ll encounter a whole new set of difficulties.
For a new CDL driver, the entire situation can be quite intimidating.
The simple strategies above are ones that new truck drivers can use to steer clear of avoidable mishaps when operating alone (without a teammate or driver trainer). Everyone wants to avoid accidents, after all.