Commercial trucks are an integral part of the economy, moving goods across the country day and night. Sharing the road with these massive vehicles, however, can be intimidating and, at times, dangerous. Due to their size and weight, commercial trucks have unique driving characteristics that can contribute to road accidents if not addressed properly.
Understanding these characteristics and adopting defensive driving strategies can significantly reduce the risk of accidents.
Maintain a safe distance
Commercial trucks need a much larger stopping distance than smaller vehicles. Drivers should therefore ensure there is enough space between their car and a truck, both when following a truck and when a truck is following them.
Trucks have larger blind spots than smaller vehicles. These are areas around the truck where the driver cannot see other vehicles. Staying out of these blind spots and making sure the truck driver can see the car can help avoid accidents.
Understand signaling and maneuvering
These larger vehicles require more space to turn, especially right turns. Drivers should give them plenty of room and not try to squeeze by them or cut them off. Paying attention to a truck driver’s signals can provide valuable insight into their intended actions, allowing others to adjust their driving accordingly.
Be patient and considerate
Commercial trucks have a lower speed limit than cars on most highways. Instead of getting impatient or trying risky maneuvers to overtake them, drivers should wait for a safe opportunity to pass. Remember, commercial truck drivers are professionals doing their job.
Adapt to conditions
Bad weather and poor road conditions affect large trucks more severely than cars. Other drivers should adjust their speed and following distance accordingly when these conditions arise.
Staying safe while driving around commercial trucks involves understanding their limitations and adjusting driving habits accordingly. Ultimately, safe driving near commercial trucks requires patience, respect and understanding.