The trucking industry plays a huge role in America’s economy, with studies and reports showing that trucks help to directly provide support for over 80% of the nation’s communities, transporting countless tons of products from place to place and keeping the supply chain moving. In short, trucks are essential for life as we know it, and we have a lot to be thankful to them for.
However, when it comes to dealing with trucks on the road in day-to-day life, the benefits aren’t always so easy to see. Trucks of all kinds, whether they’re food delivery trucks, dump and garbage trucks, or huge 18-wheelers transporting the biggest items, tend to be huge, heavy, dangerous vehicles that can do a lot of damage if they’re involved in any crashes or collisions.
History shows that some of the very worst auto accidents on American roads tend to involve trucks, and the immense size of a truck can cause it to almost entirely destroy smaller vehicles, doing untold damage to the drivers and passengers inside. This is why it’s so important to drive safely whenever you see trucks around, and here are some key safety tips to help with that.
One of the first tips for driving safely and sensibly when trucks are around is to simply remember the basics and follow the fundamentals of safe driving. This includes things like checking your mirrors before making turns or changing lanes, using your signals and lights to make your vehicle as visible and clear as possible, sticking to the speed limit, and so on.
Sometimes, when driving near or around trucks, certain drivers seem to obey a different set of rules. They may speed up more than usual in order to get past a truck, for example, or forget to use mirrors and signals as much as they’re too focused on getting around the truck and continuing their way. Keep the basics in mind to set a good safe driving example for those around you.
Trucking is a really hard job, and not a lot of people stop to think about how tough it can be. Truckers often work long hours, stuck in the same seat, on their own, for hours at a time as they drive from one place to another. It’s no surprise that this job is classed as one of the most stressful jobs around, and it can have quite terrible effects on a driver’s mental health.
So a good way to improve your driving near trucks is to keep these facts in mind and treat them respectfully. Don’t get too close, don’t try and speed past them, and try not to let yourself get frustrated if they momentarily slow you down. Truck drivers do their best in difficult conditions, and by showing them respect and keeping their distance, you can help everyone stay safe.
A big issue with trucks is the fact that, because they’re so big, they have a huge amount of blind spots. There are simply many areas around the truck that the truck driver is unable to see, even with the aid of mirrors. The situation has been improved somewhat with the invention of cameras that can cover some blind spots, but it’s impossible for truckers to keep eyes all around them at all times.
It’s up to other drivers to play their part and carry out the necessary research to find out where these blind spots are and then try to avoid them as well as they can. Of course, there may be times when you simply can’t avoid a blind spot while passing a truck or driving behind one, but try to minimize the amount of time you spend in these spots and help the trucker see your vehicle as much as possible.
Let’s say that you’re driving down the highway behind a truck. Up ahead, you can see that some maintenance is being carried out on the highway, and a section of it has been closed off, causing a build-up of traffic. At that point, you can either choose to try and quickly pass the truck in order to get ahead of it before you reach the traffic, or you can patiently wait for a better and safer time to pass later on.
Of course, the latter option is the safest and most sensible choice here, and it’s important to make these sorts of decisions when driving near trucks. Don’t forget that, because of their weight and size, trucks aren’t as maneuverable as smaller vehicles, so it takes longer for truck drivers to respond to signs, hazards, and road situations. If you try rushing past them as well, it only adds another issue for the trucker to deal with and another possible threat that could cause a collision.
Distracted driving leads to thousands of unnecessary deaths and countless accidents every year, and many American adults have admitted to getting distracted while sitting behind the wheel. A lot of people use their phones while driving, for example, or try to do two things at once, such as eating and driving or adjusting the GPS while they drive.
This is dangerous at any time, especially when trucks are around. You need to keep your focus levels high to remain aware of your surroundings and your vehicle’s location. This will help you avoid the aforementioned blind spots and stay safe as you pass by trucks. So try to minimize the risk of any distractions in your car and don’t use phones or other devices while driving.
Driving around trucks is quite intimidating for some, while others treat it far too casually. Either way, it’s something that needs to be taken seriously, and hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you improve your own driving habits and behave more safely and smartly whenever trucks or other large vehicles are in the area.