These mishaps often look scary and can cause fatalities, but you can take steps to help circumvent them. Use the following guidelines to safely share the roads and to reduce the risks of accidents with semi-trucks.
Since truck drivers have bigger blind spots when compared to smaller vehicles, never ride beside an 18-wheeler. If they need to move over, they likely won't see any adjacent cars. When you have to pass, do it carefully and quickly on the left side.
Even when truck drivers can see small vehicles, avoid traveling close to them. That's because of the navigational challenges they have to handle. It takes big trucks a long time to stop, especially on slick roads. When traveling behind one, a car can easily slide underneath a semi upon sudden stoppage. Regardless of weather conditions, a blown truck tire can also spell trouble when pieces hit a car's windshield.
Avoid High Beams
Since a fast moving big truck can cover the distance of a football field in just two seconds, it's important not to obstruct its driver's vision. That's why you should never use high beams when approaching a semi truck from the opposite lane or when passing one. When these bright lights momentarily impede vision, they can lead to accidents.
Know How to Stop
It's easy to stop a regular vehicle because of its smaller size and technological features. However, drivers often forget that it can create a chain reaction, especially for people who travel closely behind. That's why drivers on interstates should only stop in emergencies. In this case, you should pull over to the side of the highway. If possible, start braking gently ahead of time, signal your intention, slow down and pull over.
While laws exist to regulate cellphone use on the roads, many drivers still text or talk and drive, which can result in truck accidents. Many studies have shown that this can cause fatal accidents. However, don't underestimate other distractions that make you take your eyes off the road. These diversions can include looking for things in the glove box, trying to keep kids in check and reaching for dropped items. Because it can take only a fraction of a second to cause an accident, stay alert, and keep your eyes on the trucks and the road.
Every time you drive on a highway, you're likely to encounter semi-trucks. Their drivers are often over-worked, tired and stressed. They also have to deal with limitations in regards to braking, turning, and visibility. That is why it's important to do your part by following these tips.