Five Safety Tips for Avoiding Truck Accidents

7348464_mSharing the road safely with large commercial trucks means understanding some of the limitations and challenges that truck drivers are dealing with, so that you can watch out for the danger zone in truck accidents.

Know the Blind Spots

Semi-trucks have some massive blind spots, where the truck driver absolutely cannot see you. By knowing where these dangers zones are, you can stay out of them, and if you have to get into one, move through it as quickly as possible.

  • Directly in front of the truck
  • Directly behind the truck
  • On both sides of the truck, sometimes even several lanes out

Watch the Truck Mirrors to Know if You Are Visible

You may have seen the signs on trucks that say, “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” It’s not just a clever saying. It can save your life. To find out if you are in a blind spot, look for the trucker’s face. If you cannot see the truck driver in the mirrors, or directly through the windshield, the truck driver cannot see you. Period.

Stay Way Out Ahead of the Truck

When driving with a truck behind you, you want plenty of distance. Of course, you know that trucks require more stopping distance than passenger vehicles, but they also have a blind spot right in front, because the driver sits so high. Again, look for the driver’s face.

Give the Truck Plenty of Room When Passing

You know better than to cut off a huge commercial truck when passing, but you may still be cutting in too soon. You should be able to see the entire front of the truck before you change lanes in front of it. Be sure to signal, so the truck driver knows your intention. Some truckers will flash their headlights to let you know you’re clear to pull in front of them.

Once you are in front of the truck, maintain your speed. Do not slow down immediately after passing. Keep moving and try to get at least 10 car lengths ahead of the truck.

Watch Out for Wide Right Turns

Trucks need extra turning space. They often make wide right-hand turns, swinging out to the left before turning right. The truck driver cannot see cars to the right of the truck. That’s a blind spot.

When you see a truck swing out to the left at an intersection, even if the truck’s turn signal is not on, do not try to slip through that open space. The truck driver won’t be able to see you and you may be crushed during the turn.


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