At the moment, truck accidents account for 2.4 percent of all the recorded car accidents in the US. Although this is a small percentage compared to other types of vehicles, because of their enormous sizes, victims of such accidents usually end up with serious injuries and sometimes, even death. The good thing is that truck drivers are more than equipped with knowledge, training and years of experience to drive safely with other vehicles. In fact, in 75 percent of all truck related accidents in the US passenger vehicles were proven to be the contributing fault of the accident. That’s why it’s important to understand how to drive alongside these vehicles, as they will continue to share the road with drivers across the world.
Now, it is important to understand that trucks are extremely large. Although most of them have several mirrors that enable the driver to see the rear side of their vehicle and both sides of the vehicle, they still have big blind spots. If you are driving behind a truck or a bus, there is a very large chance that the driver of the truck does not see you. That means you have to avoid being in the vacinity that encompasses their blindspots, in order to avoid a collision.
Useful Tips when Driving with Truck and Buses
When driving on national highways, you are more likely to drive along with really large vehicles such as trucks and buses. For this reason, it is important to take caution. As mentioned before, truck drivers are professional drivers so you are safer around them than with teenage drivers. However, because there are some spots that they have no way of seeing, it is harder for them to avoid hitting you. It is your responsibility to keep your vehicle away from these spots to avoid collision. Here are some tips that can help keep you safe behind a truck, bus, or any other big rig:
Tip 1 – Know the no-zone
The no zone is the truck driver’s blind spot. Knowing where these spots are will save you from devastating accidents. Now, as opposed to what a lot of people believe, there are actually three spots that truck drivers have no vision of: the rear of the vehicle, the right front part of the truck and the left middle part of the truck. If you can see the truck’s side mirrors on both sides, then you are at a safe distance. If you cannot see the mirrors then the truck driver does not see you. Avoid being in these spots.
Tip 2 – Avoid tailgating
Now, tailgating is one thing that you should always avoid no matter if the truck is moving or is parked. The rear view of the truck is a blind spot to the driver. They can easily hit your vehicle and may not even realize it because of their enormous size. It takes a while for them to come to a complete stop but then again because they are built with stronger brake system, they can make full stop. If you are tailgating, you might hit the rear side of the truck because your brake system is different from theirs.
Tip 3 – Avoid passing a maneuvering truck
Keep in mind that large vehicles need to turn on a bit of a tilt on their other side to achieve a full turn. Never pass a maneuvering truck, especially if they are making a turn.
Tip 4 – Blink your headlight to signal the driver
Although it is not advised to keep your headlights on when you are in the rear view of the truck you can blink them once or twice to let them know that you are passing on the right or the left side. The driver knows this signal and will stay on their lanes until you pass them.