Large commercial trucks are prevalent on the highways and streets all across the U.S. While their drivers are professionally trained, their sheer size and weight makes them difficult to stop and maneuver when faced with an obstacle. Learning to respect their space and understanding their limitations can help motorists avoid being involved in an accident with one of these large vehicles.
Fatality Rates Involving Commercial Trucks
When encountering a large truck on the road, it is best to use caution. These large trucks can be deadly if a driver is involved in an accident with them. In a passenger vehicle, the driver is more likely to receive a fatal injury than the driver of the commercial truck if you are to tangle with one on the road. The statistics don’t lie.
- Out of 10,893 drivers and passengers inside large trucks involved in accidents, only 12.6% received a fatal injury
- Out of 3,955 drivers of other vehicles involved with an accident with a commercial truck, 53.4% received a fatal injury
Needless to say, drivers of passenger vehicles have much more to lose in a skirmish with one of these vehicles.
Safety Tips for Drivers Around Semi Trucks
The best way to stay safe on the road is to use caution. A motorist cannot control the behavior of other vehicles on the road, especially these large trucks. However, they can control their own actions and use defensive driving techniques to help avoid being part of a deadly accident.
- Avoid blind spots. An important rule of thumb is if you can’t see the trucks side mirrors, they cannot see you either. One-third of all crashes between cars and large trucks happen due to these blind spots.
- Do not cut off a large truck. These large vehicles cannot stop quickly and by zipping in front of them, you put yourself in danger if the traffic ahead of you suddenly stops. The truck behind you may not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting you.
- Passing trucks that are turning. Be careful when passing a truck that is turning. Large semi-trailer trucks need a wide radius to turn and may swing over in the opposite direction they are turning.
- Passing trucks on the highway. When passing a truck on the highway, accelerate at a constant speed. Do not signal to move over in front of them until you can see their entire cab in your rearview mirror.
By using precaution around these mammoths of the road, you can reduce your risk of being involved in an accident with them. Just keep your distance and make sure that they can always see you as well as you can see them.