If you drive regularly, you have probably found yourself in one of these situations. You are traveling down the road, following the speed limit, only to have a large truck speed past you in another lane. Or you suddenly find yourself stuck between two big rigs traveling in the lanes on either side of you.
Being in such close proximity to these large vehicles can be alarming. It is understandable that you may not feel particularly safe when a large truck is driving too close.
The statistics show that your fears are justified. In 2012, over 3,920 people died in large truck accidents across the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Overall, the number of people killed in truck crashes has been on the rise recently. In 2012, the number of deaths rose 4 percent from the year before.
In addition, 104,000 people suffered injuries in large truck crashes in the U.S. in 2012. Shockingly, that represented an 18 percent increase from the number of people injured in such collisions the year before.
In California alone, there were 244 fatal truck accidents in 2012.
Often, truck accidents are caused by the truck drivers themselves. Nevertheless, the most harm is typically done to individuals in other vehicles, particularly because of the size discrepancy between the large truck and any other car involved in the crash.
While truck drivers are frequently responsible for crashes, you can take some steps to protect yourself when driving. For instance, be wary of truck drivers’ blind spots. A blind spot on a big rig is significantly larger than the one you experience when driving a sedan. Note that if you can’t see the truck driver’s side mirrors, he or she is unable to see you.
Also, you want to make sure you always give the truck driver enough time to react to your movement. For instance, don’t speed and always make sure to use your turn signals. When changing lanes in front of a truck driver, you will want to leave enough time and space for the other motorist to react. Keep in mind that it takes a truck driver much longer to stop his or her vehicle than it would take you to stop your car.
What do you do to stay safe when driving near large trucks?