Any type of car crash could inspire thousands of dollars in expenses and possibly put someone in the hospital. Certain types of crashes have a stronger association than others with catastrophic outcomes.
When the vehicles involved in a collision are vastly different sizes, the outcome of the crash could be much worse than in a scenario where two vehicles of roughly the same size collide. A collision with a semi-truck is therefore one of the most pressing safety concerns for those operating passenger vehicles.
How can average drivers reduce their personal risk of being involved in a crash with a semi-truck?
Remember their blind spots
Most driver’s education courses provide instruction about safely sharing the road with commercial trucks. New drivers usually learn about the large blind spots around semi-trucks. After years of driving, motorists may take for granted that they can come into close proximity with semi-trucks without putting themselves at risk.
However, complacency can lead to poor decision-making in traffic. Drivers generally need to avoid the lane directly to the left of a truck’s trailer and two lanes of traffic to the right of a trailer. They also need to leave adequate space between the rear end of a semi-truck on the front of their vehicle to ensure that the semi driver can see them and that they can see around the semi-truck in case they decide to pass it.
Give them more space at intersections
In addition to being notorious for having large blind spots, commercial trucks have many other limitations in traffic. One of the more important concerns is how they typically conduct wide turns. The way that the trailer attaches to the tractor or cab of the semi-truck can lead to them making very broad and sweeping turns.
Therefore, they may encroach on other lanes of traffic at particularly tight intersections. Other drivers may need to approach an intersection very carefully if there is already a commercial pump. They may need to leave more space and might even need to back up to give a commercial truck the room the driver requires to complete a turn. Drivers should also remember that commercial trucks take longer to slow down than smaller vehicles and should be careful when merging or turning in front of a semi-truck in traffic.
At the end of the day, consistently following best practices on the road can help someone reduce their chances of causing – or otherwise being involved in – a semi-truck collision.