Whether you’re behind the wheel of a Suburban or a Smart car, it can be intimidating to share the highway with 80,000-pound 18-wheelers. And there’s a reason for that! 18-Wheeler collisions are some of the most deadly motor vehicle accidents out there. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 18-wheeler and semi truck accidents
accounted for 3,852 deaths in 2015 alone.
As a car driver, what can you do to help increase safety and decrease accident statistics while driving among big trucks in the Alexandria and Shreveport areas?
#1: Respect Larger Vehicles
No matter how experienced of a driver you are or how quick your reflexes are, it’s foolish to ignore the sheer size of 80,000 pounds of truck traveling at top speed limits! Give big trucks more room on the roads – at least three car lengths when following.
#2: Take Responsibility
The safer option is to assume that the driver of the 18-Wheeler or other truck can’t see you. This assumption not only makes you more aware and alert while driving, but it’s also often true! Truck drivers do have reduced visibility and more blind spots than motorists.
#3: Remember the Blind Spots!
Truck drivers have large blind spots, and staying aware of them can help everyone stay safe! Don’t drive too closely behind or parallel to a truck trailer. Pass eighteen wheelers quickly and sparingly in the left lane or slow down and let them pass you while you’re in the right lane.
#4: Do Stop Believing the Drafting Myth
DrivingTests.org debunks the popular misconception that drivers can improve their own gas mileage by harnessing the aerodynamics of a transfer truck’s trailer if they tailgate the truck. Not only is this a myth, it’s an enormous safety risk. Don’t believe it!
#5: Pay Extra Attention During Right Turns
Never drive directly to the right of a trailer-truck if their turn signals indicate that they intend to make a right turn. 18-Wheelers and other larger trucks need a wide berth when making right turns in order to stay on the road. Respect their need for additional room to turn in the opposite lane and to possibly take up both the right and left lanes to turn on a multi-lane roadway.
#6: Avoid Driving on Slippery Roads if You Can Help It
Large trucks take up to 40 times longer to stop than cars. Rain, snow, and ice make slippery roads harder to stop on anyway, so do the math! Wet or icy roads are especially hazardous when driving among large trucks. Avoid driving in rain, snow, and ice if you can!
#7: Share safety tips with other drivers!
Safer habits make safer roads, but accidents still do happen. If you or a loved one is involved in a truck accident in the Alexandria and Shreveport Louisiana areas, you might be entitled to significant personal injury compensation. Get experienced help at the The Ross Downs Law Firm. Call us at (318) 325-7677 (ROSS) or contact us online to discover your options and how we can help!