The devastating outcome when a large truck collides with a much smaller vehicle may have everlasting effects on the people involved. Physically, financially and spiritually. It can disrupt the lives of you the victim and family members, lead to exorbitant medical bills, prevent you from earning an income and lead to major depression.
You do not ever want this to occur, so it is necessary to take the right precautions when sharing the road with these colossal vehicles. Millions of these large trucks are on U.S. highways every day, and other smaller cars have long co-existed with them. Just remember to take extra care around these vehicles and rely on common-sense driving rules, including defensive driving.
Blind spots, safe passing
More than 400 people died in large truck collisions in California in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The number represented 8% of the more than 5,000 fatalities recorded that year in the country.
You do not want to become a statistic, so here are some crucial pointers that will help you when sharing the road with large trucks:
- Understand that a truck driver has blind spots, so stay out of them. Referred to as “no zones,” a large truck’s blind spots are in its front, back and sides. Avoid tailgating. Avoid driving along a truck’s side for prolonged periods.
- Abide by safe passing. Use your turn signals to signify a lane change. And when you pass a truck, do so quickly. Do not drive alongside a large truck for extended periods.
- Give large trucks an abundant amount of space when they change lanes in front of you.
- Avoid any abrupt swerves in the front of a big-rig truck. There have been too many situations in which drivers take such a dangerous action, leading to the truck driver with the inability to immediately stop, causing a collision.
- Avoid tailgating. As mentioned earlier, you are now in the truck driver’s blind spot. If the truck abruptly stops, you could find yourself the victim of a terrible underride collision.
- Take great care around a large truck that is turning. These monstrous vehicles make wide turns. So, in making a right turn, the driver briefly turns to the left before continuing to the right.
You must understand that the odds are not good for the driver of a smaller vehicle involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler. Continue to maintain that defensive driving philosophy.