How To Avoid Accidents With Tractor Trailers
One important safty advice regarding when driving along semi-truck or also known as either 18 Wheelers or havy duty trucks is that if you cannot see the truck driver in his mirrors, he mostlikey cannot see you
Due to the vast number of accidents and increasing number of truck drivers you will hear from horror tales about ones encounter that they had with an 18-wheeler on the highway or freeway, and how they were almod killed by an 18-wheeler. But what few seem to consider is that they themselves may have caused the problem due to their own ignorance about what is involved in driving a big rig, or by engaging in driving behavior that did nothing but endanger their own lives, their passengers’, and other surrounding drivers.
We have researched top three main cause why truck accidents happen and we have brought them to you in this article.
First and main cause of accidents involving truck crashes is their inability to stop in time.
The second reason for truck accidents involve motorists trying to pass a truck on the right while the truck is making a right-hand turn. Also known as the right turn squeeze.
The last reason would be accidents caused by a motorist or vehicle driving in the trucker’s blind spots. If you cannot see the truck driver in his mirrors, he mostlikely cannot see you.
While avoiding an accident mentioned in the conditions above may be more a matter of the actions and abilities of other drivers on the road, there are measures you can take to help your own situation with regard to 18-wheelers. Here are some driving tips offered by various sources, including truckers themselves, to keep yourself safe and aware:
1) Riding in a trucker’s blind spots. Trucks have large blind spots to the right and rear of the vehicle. Smaller blind spots exist on the right front corner and mid-left side of the truck. The worst thing a driver can do is chug along in the trucker’s blind spot, where he cannot be seen. If you’re going to pass a truck, do it and get it over with. Don’t sit alongside with the cruise control set 1 mph faster than the truck is traveling.
2) Cut-offs. Don’t try to sneak into a small gap in traffic ahead of a truck. Don’t get in front of a truck and then brake to make a turn. Trucks take as much as three times the distance to stop as the average passenger car, and you’re only risking your own life by cutting a truck off and then slowing down in front of it.
3) Impatience while reversing. Motorists need to understand that it takes time and concentration to back a 48-foot trailer up without hitting anything. Sometimes a truck driver needs to make several attempts to reverse into tight quarters. Keep your cool and let the trucker do their job.
4) Don’t play policeman. Don’t try to make a truck driver conform to a bureaucrat’s idea of what is right and wrong on the highway. As an example, the way truck drivers handle hilly terrain on the highway may seem unsafe to a regular motorist. A fully loaded truck slows way down going up a hill. On the way down the other side of the hill, a fully loaded truck gathers speed quickly. Truckers like to use that speed to help the truck up the next hill. Do not sit in the passing lane going the speed limit. Let the truck driver pass, and let the Highway Patrol worry about citing the trucker for breaking the law.
5) No assistance in lane changes or merges. It’s not easy to get a 22-foot tractor and 48-foot trailer into traffic easily. If a trucker has his turn signal blinking, leave room for the truck to merge or change lanes. Indicate your willingness to allow the truck in by flashing your lights.
6) Never drive beside an eighteen wheeler for long periods of time. It is extremely dangerous. First off the wind turbulence is bad and absolutely can push you off the road or pull you into the truck if you are not watching! Also, if one of those tires does blow it can rip your head right off your shoulders and that’s no joke. I’ve seen it happen and it’s sickening.
7) When you pass an 18-wheeler in a car make sure you see, at the least, both headlights in your rearview mirror before executing your move in front of them.
When you see a truck driver trying to make a right hand turn NEVER get to the right of him as he CANNOT see you! The reason an eighteen wheeler driver swings wide to make a right turn is basically because he can’t see, and it is always better to be safe than sorry, then have to pay a city thousands of dollars for a ripped off stop light or stop sign.
9) Get out of the left lane! Whether you are in a car or in a truck, when you are through passing get out of the left lane. It only breeds anger and frustration when drivers are rude and just ride in the left lane for no reason. You see the signs all the time: “Left lane for passing only.”
10) In general, it’s safe to just always give semi-trucks and 18-wheelers a wide berth. Look ahead of you, not just to your immediate right, left, and in front of your bumpers. Learn how to judge distance and speed to keep the freeways moving smooth.
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Ben is a very experienced truck driver that managed to avoid accidents with his truck. Ben enjoys reading articles on: http://www.coopskw.com/