Legally, the trucks with which you share the road can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. That's 20 times the size of the average car. The drivers of those trucks, like you, are doing their hardest to arrive at their destination safely.
Some individuals blame truckers for a large number of serious car accidents. However, data shows that another vehicle, person, animal, or object in the driver's lane was responsible for more than 70% of fatal truck accidents. Even the high number of miles driven by truckers is factored in.
You can help truckers keep the roadways safe by doing your part. We'll tell you what these professional drivers want you to know before you go behind the wheel with them.
5 things truckers want another driver to know
Don’t follow too closely.
Trucks occupy more road space than smaller vehicles. As a result, they require more room. They're also higher off the ground. If you're travelling under 40 miles per hour (MPH), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommends leaving at least one second for every ten feet of vehicle length. If you're following a truck, this adds around four seconds to the distance between you and the semi. If you're travelling faster than 40 mph, add another second.
If you do not maintain this spacing and your vehicle is hit from behind, you may not have enough time to stop. Unfortunately, your vehicle may be pushed below the truck, which can lead to a terrible disaster. If you're too close behind a truck and one of its tires blows out, shards could hit your windshield or other elements of your automobile, causing damage.
A semi caught in a windstorm, on the other hand, may veer or even be blown over. If you follow too closely, the other driver may not be able to avoid colliding with your vehicle.
Avoid driving into a truck's blind spots.
Trucks have more and larger blind spots on all four sides than most cars due to their size. If you can't see the driver in his or her side mirror, he or she probably can't see you, according to signage on the backs of some vehicles.
The basic norm is to keep a one-lane width on the driver's side and a two-lane width on the passenger side to avoid a trucker's blind areas. Keep a 20-foot buffer in front of a truck and a 30-foot buffer behind one.
Do not pass a truck when the driver is turning a corner.
Stay away from the "no-zones." When performing a wide turn, these larger trucks require extra turning area, and a driver may have to take up more than one lane. Furthermore, avoid passing a car on the right side that is turning in the same direction. You risk not just getting your automobile stuck between the truck and a curb, but possibly triggering a catastrophic accident that could result in injuries.
Maintain a constant speed
Large trucks, as we said earlier in this essay, require more road space than most cars. The center of gravity of trucks towing loaded trailers is higher. They are unable to react as quickly as other drivers to rapid speed changes. Also, try not to make any unexpected movements with your vehicle.
Focus your attention
This law applies to all drivers, not only those who drive near trucks. An accident can happen in a fraction of a second. If you're not paying attention to what's going on around you on the road, you won't be able to defend yourself effectively if another driver pulls in front of you or traffic ahead of you suddenly stops.
Everyone on the roadways should strive to drive safely. Be considerate of other motorists. Maintain your concentration. Remember that while driving carelessly may get you to your destination faster, it may also endanger other drivers.