About 4,136 people died in large truck crashes in 2018 alone, and 67% of these people were occupiers of cars and other passenger vehicles.
The massive size and weight of trucks – which usually come in at 20-30x the weight of most passenger vehicles – means that accidents involving trucks are much more likely to be lethal compared to accidents that involve two cars or pickup trucks.
A recent accident in Florida illustrates the importance of drivers paying attention and being careful when driving near a trucker’s blind spot.
An Exit Ramp Collision Between A Tractor-Trailer & A Car Could Have Ended In Tragedy
According to The Ledger, a semi-truck was driving east on I-4 in Lakeland, FL, and was attempting to enter Polk Parkway. A car was driving on the inside of the ramp in the blind spot of the truck, and the truck was on the outside.
The truck attempted to merge, then its trailer struck the car, causing the truck to hit a barrier wall and flip over on its left side, where it came to rest on the grass. Luckily, no injuries were reported from the truck operator or the people in the car. However, things easily could have turned out differently.
While the car probably assumed the truck could see it, this likely was not the case. Semi-trucks have large blind spots that make it hard to see cars that are immediately to the side of the cab, and both semi-truck drivers and car drivers have the responsibility to drive accordingly to prevent accidents like this.
How To Drive Safely Around Semi-Trucks – What Drivers Should Know
For your health and safety, it’s very important to know how to be safe when driving near semi-trucks, especially on the highway, where high speeds lead to a higher likelihood of dangerous accidents. a1autotransport.com says that there are a few steps that drivers should take to drive safely around semi-trucks.
- Be aware of truck blind spots – When possible, avoid driving immediately adjacent to a truck, particularly near where the cab and trailer connect, where there is a blind spot on both the right and left of the truck. You should also stay at least 20 feet in front of or 30 feet behind a truck to stay out of its front/rear blind spots.
- Pass trucks quickly and with speed – If you are passing a truck on the highway, commit to it. Accelerate quickly to pass the truck so that you spend as little time as possible in its blind spot.
- Never pass on the right – Trucks have a 2-lane wide blind spot on the right, so don’t ever try to pass a truck on the right – this is almost always an illegal maneuver anyway, and it’s very unsafe. Always pass trucks from the left.
- Be wary of hills – Trucks often change speed when going up and down hills, so be aware of this if you’re about to try to pass a truck. It’s best to only pass trucks on flat areas of the road, as this will enhance your safety.
- Pay attention to turn signals – Truckers will always signal before switching a lane. Pay attention to turn signals to ensure your safety and the safety of a trucker who is trying to enter your lane, and be courteous – consider slowing down to let the trucker in, or accelerating to get out of the way of a semi-truck that’s attempting to switch lanes.
In addition, make sure to use your own turn signals whenever you switch lanes to ensure the truck driver knows when you’re about to make your move.
Stay Safe Around Trucks With These Tips
By knowing about semi-truck blind spots, paying attention to your surroundings, passing safely, and always being respectful of semi-trucks on the highway and roads, you’ll be able to avoid potentially dangerous situations on the road. Think about how you can implement these tips in your own driving, and stay safe out there.