To minimize the risk of accidents involving 18-wheelers or large commercial trucks, you can follow these safety guidelines:
- Maintain a safe distance: Keep a safe following distance from large trucks, allowing enough space for sudden stops or emergencies. Trucks have larger blind spots, so ensure you can see the truck’s mirrors, indicating that the driver can see you.
- Avoid blind spots: Be aware of the “no-zone” areas around trucks where the driver’s visibility is limited. These areas include directly behind the truck, along the sides near the truck’s doors, and a significant distance ahead. Pass through these areas quickly to reduce the time spent in the blind spots.
- Use signals and communicate: Use your turn signals early when changing lanes or merging near a truck. Make your intentions clear to the truck driver, giving them ample time to react.
- Pass with caution: When passing a truck, do so on the left side and maintain a steady speed. Signal your intention, check your mirrors and blind spots, and only move back into the lane once you can see the truck’s headlights in your rearview mirror.
- Be cautious at intersections: Many accidents occur when a truck is making a right turn, and a smaller vehicle tries to pass on the right side. Never try to squeeze through on the right of a turning truck; it may result in a collision.
- Stay visible: Ensure your vehicle is visible to the truck driver by using your headlights during the day and avoiding lingering in blind spots. Maintain a consistent speed to make it easier for the truck driver to anticipate your movements.
- Anticipate wide turns: Trucks have a wider turning radius, so be cautious when a truck driver signals for a turn. Do not try to squeeze between the truck and the curb or block their path.
- Practice defensive driving: Always be attentive and cautious when sharing the road with large trucks. Pay attention to their movements, anticipate their actions, and be prepared to react defensively if necessary.
- Avoid distractions: Distracted driving is dangerous in any situation, but it becomes even more critical when driving near large trucks. Stay focused on the road and avoid distractions like using your phone or engaging in other activities that take your attention away from driving.
Remember, it’s crucial to exercise patience and respect when sharing the road with large trucks. By following these guidelines and being aware of the unique challenges that trucks present, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents involving 18-wheelers.