With businesses slowly starting to open up again and such a spike in online shopping due to COVID-19, there’s bound to be more trucks on the road than usual right now. At G3 Help Me, we believe road safety starts with having all the information you need to avoid an accident.
In this article, we’ll cover 5 critical tips for keeping you and others around you safe on the road. Because, while we love seeing our clients here at the G3 office, your safety is our number one priority.
- Drive Responsibly
We know, we know… this seems like common sense, right? Unfortunately, many drivers today are either too distracted or in too much of a hurry to drive as responsibly as they should. From texting and driving to speeding and cutting others off, driving irresponsibly can lead to an accident easier than you may think. And if a truck’s involved, it can be even more of a life-threatening situation.
To help ensure you’re driving as responsibly as possible, follow these simple steps when driving near or around semi trucks:
- Don’t cut truck drivers off and assume they’re alert to you driving in front of them
- Drive in the lane with the least amount of trucks and avoid swerving
- Always use your turn signal well before changing lanes
- Avoid using your brights when trucks are coming from the opposite direction (especially on tighter two-lane roads)
- Pass as Quickly as Possible (Within the Speed Limit)
According to the Roadway Safety Foundation, “if you must pass a large truck on the interstate, always pass on the left side and do so quickly and cautiously.” Remember that, like many standard cars and vehicles, trucks also have blind spots. Should a truck driver need to switch lanes for any reason, it’s important that they’re able to clearly and quickly identify the amount of space between you and them. If they can’t see you, they can’t avoid hitting you.
- Know Their Blind Spots
For most commercial semi trucks, the right side is the biggest blind spot. Knowing this in advance can help everyone on the road avoid an accident.
If a truck driver can’t see the lanes beside him (which they often can’t), the chances of them swerving or entering your lane without proper time for you to get over can increase significantly. The Roadway Safety Foundation goes on to name other areas of concern as “directly in front of the [truck’s] cab, behind the trailer, and certain zones along the driver’s side.”
- Avoid Tailing Too Closely
When in a rush to get somewhere, many people drive too close for comfort around trucks and other vehicles. Sometimes, it can feel unnecessary to put so much space between you and a vehicle in front of you (you may think there’s already enough space), but keep in mind that it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
To avoid an accident caused by a sudden stop, make sure you’re at least a car’s distance behind the truck in front of you. Leave plenty of space (about 4-seconds worth is the standard recommendation) so that both you and the truck driver have enough time to hit the breaks without causing an accident if needed.
This can help avoid extremely dangerous, life-threatening situations, such as getting your vehicle stuck under the truck, whiplash, or injuries from your air bag.
- Stay Calm but Remain Alert
The scary truth is… things happen when driving near trucks. As an example, with so many tires on the average semi, there’s always a chance one could blow out and impact your vehicle. This happens (think of all the tire remnants you’ve seen on the side of the highway), but that doesn’t mean it has to lead to an accident.
Staying safe on the road depends on your reaction to stressful or close contact situations. Remaining calm, maintaining control with both hands firmly on the wheel, and being alert to your surroundings is key to keeping yourself and others safe around trucks.
G Turner Howard III
G3 Attorney, Wreck Attorney