Trucking accidents involving commercial trucks and passenger vehicles tend to end in tragedy. The two vehicles are simply unevenly matched. A large commercial truck can easily crush a small passenger car, causing fatalities or serious personal injury for everyone inside. According to Road Safe America, however, there are several things that drivers can do to avoid collisions with trucks:
1) Stay alert about visibility when approaching a truck. Keep in mind that trucks have many blind spots. Generally, you need to be able to see a truck’s side mirrors to ensure that a driver can see you. Try to make eye contact with the driver in the truck in the mirrors to ensure that he or she can see you. Keep in mind, too, that trucks are large enough to affect your visibility. Do not make assumptions about what might be in front of a truck or behind it, where you cannot see. Up to one in three car-truck collisions occur due to blind spots, so make sure drivers can see you and drop back behind a truck so that you can see what you need to see around the truck.
2) Do not cut in front of trucks. Trucks require more time to stop and may not be able to stop in time to prevent a major accident. If you need to pass a truck, accelerate your car and ensure that your speed is consistent, so that the truck driver can predict what you are doing and can anticipate your actions. When you can see the entire truck cab in your rear-view mirror, signal your lane change and pull in front of the truck.
3) Be extra careful when a truck is making a right turn. To turn right, large trucks must move to the left quite wide. Never pass a truck when it is turning right – your vehicle may be crushed as the truck turns. Always take note of a truck’s signal lights to ensure that you can pass safely.
4) Give trucks extra room. Trucks require extra time to execute most manoeuvres and keep in mind that trucks have many blind spots and can affect your own visibility as well. Giving trucks an extra space ahead ensures that you stay safe. In bad weather or on highways (where higher speeds are a factor), give trucks even more room. About six seconds of space is a good idea.
5) Act if you see unsafe driving. If you see a truck driver weaving on the road or otherwise acting unsafely, leave even more room between yourself and the truck, so that you have time to respond if the truck does something unexpected. Contact local authorities to report the truck and to help prevent an accident.