Commercial trucks are vital to the American economy, as they transport and distribute vital goods throughout the country. Weighing up to 80,000 pounds, however, these massive vehicles have the potential to be extremely dangerous.
In 2018 alone, more than 4,800 people were killed in large truck accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Practicing safe driving habits while sharing the road with large trucks may help to minimize the risk of a catastrophic accident.
Beware of large trucks
An important thing to keep in mind when driving alongside a commercial truck is that they operate differently than smaller vehicles. Not only do they require a longer distance to stop, but they need more room to complete turns. Here are just a few important things to remember when navigating alongside large trucks:
- Avoid driving in the blindspots, which are largest behind and on the right-hand side of the truck
- Never pull out right in front of a large truck
- Avoid cutting off trucks when switching lanes
It is critical to give trucks plenty of room while they are turning as well.
Dangers of large trucks
Large truck drivers should be well-trained and qualified to operate these vehicles. Furthermore, they should avoid driving while drowsy, drunk or distracted. In addition, truck equipment should be properly maintained to ensure it works correctly. This includes the brakes, lights, steering and tires.
Bad weather conditions can also be hazardous, including icy, snowy, windy, rainy and foggy roads. Loads must also be distributed evenly in the trailers to avoid the risk of jack-knifing and tipping over.