Driving Near Big Trucks

Headline

In fatal crashes involving a car and a truck, the car occupants are far more likely to be killed. Driving mistakes around trucks can have tragic consequences. In collisions, the sheer size of some trucks puts car occupants at a disadvantage. Many dri

In fatal crashes involving a car and a truck, the car occupants are far more likely to be killed. Driving mistakes around trucks can have tragic consequences.

In collisions, the sheer size of some trucks puts car occupants at a disadvantage. Many drivers are intimidated when they must share the road with large trucks, and not without reason. A manoeuvre by a car near a large truck may be more dangerous than the same manoeuvre near another car. Similarly, a large truck may perform a manoeuvre that carries low risk of a crash near another truck in the traffic stream, but a higher risk when performed near a smaller vehicle.

These are five driving behaviors that are factors in most of the fatal crashes:

  1. failing to stay in the lane or running off the road;
  2. failing to yield the right of way;
  3. driving too fast for conditions or above the speed limit;
  4. failing to obey signs and signals;
  5. driver inattention.

A few basic defensive driving habits could save a lot of lives:

  1. Don't change lanes abruptly.
  2. Slow down to let trucks have the right of way.
  3. Drive at a safe speed.
  4. Stay alert to traffic signals and road conditions.
  5. Use turn signals.
  6. Never cut in front of a truck.
  7. Avoid driving alongside trucks whenever possible - if you can't see the truck driver's face in the side mirror, he or she can't see you.
  8. Avoid tailgating.
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