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Safety Tips for Driving Around Large Trucks

Each year, more than 4,000 fatal accidents involving large trucks or buses occur. And while car drivers often think of truck drivers as big bullies of the road, the fact is that car drivers cause 72% of crashes between large trucks and passenger vehicles.

Accidents with 18 wheelers and other large trucks often turn fatal, and it’s easy to figure out why.  18 wheeler trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. That’s 40 tons of weight barrelling down the highway. By comparison, the average passenger car is 4,000 pounds, just two tons. There’s no question in a collision which vehicle will suffer the most damage, which is why passengers and drivers in cars and small vehicles should be especially careful when driving around large trucks.

Follow these tips around 18 wheelers and avoid becoming a statistic.

  1. Never text and drive.  Distracted driving is dangerous driving.
  2. Avoid cutting off trucks.  An 18 wheeler driving at 60 miles could take the length of three football fields to stop.
  3. Don’t tailgate a truck.  Large debris may follow trucks and hit your windshield.  If you do collide with a truck, your windshield is likely to be hit instead of your front bumper.
  4. Be aware of where trucks are at all times.  Trucks prefer to drive in the middle lane to avoid the fast lane on the left and cars getting off and on in the right lane.
  5. Never drive next to a truck.  Trucks have a large blind spot.  If you can’t see the driver’s face in the side-view mirror, they can’t see you.
  6. Pass trucks quickly.  If you must pass a truck, pass on the left and be careful to make it through their blind spot near the cab as quickly as your can while maintaining a safe speed.
  7. Give trucks room to turn.   Trucks are large and particularly long, so they need more space to turn.
  8. Watch for tire blowouts.
  9. Give trucks the right of way.  It’s typically safety to let trucks through before you rather than trying to push your way in front of them.
  10. Be a responsible driver.  Use common sense.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a trucking accident, please call McShane & Brady at 816-888-8010 or complete our online form.