Whether you drive an SUV or a compact car, it can be intimidating to drive among 80,000-pound 18-wheelers on the highway, and your fears are not ungrounded. 18-Wheeler collisions are some of the most deadly motor vehicle accidents out there – accounting for 3,852 deaths in 2015 alone, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
So what can you do as a car driver to help make sharing the roads with big trucks safer?
#1: Respect Vehicles Larger than Yours
No matter how good of a driver you are, it’s foolish to ignore the sheer size of 80,000 pounds traveling at top highway speeds! Give big trucks more room on the roads – at least three car lengths when following.
#2: Take Responsibility
The safer option is to assume that the driver of the 18-Wheeler or other truck can’t see you. This assumption not only makes you more aware, but it’s also often true! Truck drivers do have reduced visibility and more blind spots than drivers of cars. Which brings us to our next point:
#3: Know the Blind Spots!
Truck drivers do have blind spots, and staying aware of them can help everyone stay safe! Don’t drive too closely behind or parallel to a truck trailer. Pass eighteen wheelers quickly and sparingly in the left lane or slow down and let them pass you while you’re in the right lane.
#4: Stop Believing the Drafting Myth
DrivingTests.org debunks the popular misconception that drivers can improve their own gas mileage by harnessing the aerodynamics of a transfer truck’s trailer if they tailgate the truck. Not only is this a myth, it’s an enormous safety risk.
#5: Be Especially Alert During Right Turns
Never drive directly to the right of a trailer-truck if their turn signals indicate that they intend to make a right turn. 18-Wheelers and other larger trucks need a wide berth when making right turns in order to stay on the road. Respect their need for additional room to turn in the opposite lane and to possibly take up both the right and left lanes to turn on a multi-lane roadway.
#6: Avoid Driving in Poor Weather if You Can Help It
Large trucks take up to 40 times longer to stop than cars. Rain, snow, and ice make slippery roads harder to stop on anyway, so do the math! Wet or icy roads are especially hazardous when driving among large trucks. Avoid driving in inclement weather if you can!
Safer habits make safer roads, but accidents still do happen. If you or a loved one is involved in a truck accident in Jackson, Mississippi, you might be entitled to personal injury compensation. Contact the experienced truck accident legal team at Heilman Law Group to discover your options and how we can help!
Heilman Law Group, PA
4266 I-55 North, Suite 106
Jackson, Mississippi 39211