Consider this: over 72% of accidents involving trucks are usually the fault of the other driver. This should put in perspective about what driving carelessly around trucks and truckers entails. Studies place the reasons for truck accidents on the fact that our driver’s education programs in schools do not teach how to drive near trucks. This leads to nervousness, mistakes and accidents. The following are some simple tips you can follow to ensure you drive both safely and courteously around truckers.
One of the major mistakes you can make is overtaking a truck on the wrong side. This could be deadly and should always be avoided. When overtaking a truck, it is important to remember to do it on the left side. Trucks have many blind spots, far more than those you see in a smaller vehicle. These blind spots are multiplied on the right side, which is why it is recommended for overtaking cars to pass on the left side.
Understand Wide Turns
A truck is like a train, and not just because of the size. With the tractor end and the trailer end, it is just like an engine dragging a caboose. Thus, when a truck turns, it is the tractor end which turns first before the trailer. This is why truckers have to make wide turns. They are not trying to “own the whole road” like some motorists may feel.
When trucks are making these wide turns, you should take care to give them space. It is tempting, especially if you are in a hurry, to cut in from the side while the trailer is making this turn. The thing to note here is that during the turn, the trucker sees very little of the road behind and to the side of the truck. The main concern and view is of the truck and the road in front of him and the side into which they are turning.
Give Trucks Space
Giving trucks room on the road is one of the most important tenets of sharing the road. You should under no circumstances crowd the truck. There are some identified no-zone areas around the truck. These zones are blind posts of the truck, such as directly behind, and some areas on the side out of view of the side mirrors. Other no-zone areas include the immediate front of the truck. Trucks are very large vehicles, and can have difficulty braking and coming to a complete or sudden stop. Cutting in front of a truck immediately after passing is one way to cause a very nasty accident. Be sure to give the truck a lot more space than you would a normal vehicle.
Truckers sometimes lose control of their trucks particularly when there’s a tire blowout or strong wind gusts. It is only common sense to give a truck a wide berth so that you don’t get hit by flying pieces of rubber or debris. If the trucker does happen to lose control and has to swerve to the side, you will be safely out of the way. When sharing the road, safety should always the first priority. You can help ensure this by being a conscientious and courteous driver.