When you share the road with 18-wheelers, it is necessary to take extra safety precautions. Many accidents involving these large trucks are fatal, and it’s often the car drivers who cause them.
Taking the following preventative actions minimizes the likelihood of accidents.
Give them some space
Large trucks require extra time to slow down, turn and stop. They often need to use two lanes to make wide turns. Keep four seconds of distance between you and the 18-wheeler at all times. Maintaining this safe gap gives you time to react to unexpected stops, blowouts, rolling backward, or other issues. Also, if you are too close behind, the driver cannot see your car.
Pass company trucks carefully
When you pass an 18-wheeler, you should give the driver time to react and adjust the speed as needed. Due to their size, these vehicles take longer to slow down sufficiently. Signal in advance and pass on the left side where the driver is more likely to see you. Ensure a safe distance when you merge into the lane in front of the truck. Avoid cutting them off as they may not be able to step on the brake in time to avoid a collision.
Be aware of blind spots
Do not drive right next to an 18-wheeler. The driver may not even know you are next to them due to the many blind spots. This issue can prove to be disastrous if the truck driver changes lanes or turns without realizing your car is there.
18-wheelers have limited maneuverability, take longer to stop and have large blind spots. Passenger car drivers must be aware of these concerns to avoid accidents on the road.