Picture a traffic accident… Did your mind immediately go to a scene of two cars post-collision? When most people think of traffic accidents, they typically picture just that. However, many traffic accidents are caused by or involve larger trucks or buses. And unfortunately, these accidents can be significantly more detrimental to the safety of all parties involved.
Below are a few helpful tips for avoiding a truck or bus accident while on the road.
Give Them Extra Space
Trucks and buses have more side-view blind spots than the standard car, so when passing them on the highway, it’s important to give them a bit of extra space to avoid an accident. Depending on your road’s speed limit, you may consider speeding up or slowing down to allow the truck or bus room to see your vehicle. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you can always see them. As a general rule of thumb, if you can’t see their vehicle, they probably can’t see yours either.
Avoid Following Too Closely
In addition to giving them extra space to the side, large trucks and buses tend to need extra space behind them for many reasons. One of these reasons is because their braking system is different from that of a standard car. Sudden braking and other unexpected actions are two common causes of truck and bus-related traffic accidents and should be kept in mind when following behind them. The standard distance to travel behind a truck or bus is 3-4 seconds.
Another reason trucks and buses require extra space behind them is because they have large surface areas. This means they can be easily moved by stronger-than-usual wind speeds when transporting light or empty loads. Though this is a less common cause of traffic accidents, it’s important to keep in mind when driving in adverse weather or road conditions.
Watch Their Turns
Trucks and buses require more room to turn than a standard car. In order to stay safe, you should always pay very close attention to their actions and signals. If they use their signal to indicate an upcoming turn, make sure to give them the extra room they need to turn safely. This is especially important to remember if you are turning the same way alongside them.
Use Your Signal, Too
Similarly, it’s just as important for you to use your turn signal as it is for large trucks and buses to use theirs. Never assume a truck or bus driver knows where you plan to go on the road. Once you put your signal on, allow approximately 3-4 seconds before getting over into their vehicle’s lane. You can also avoid an accident by waiting until you have a clear front or rear view of the entire truck or bus before merging over into their lane.