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Staying safe when sharing the road with trucks

| Mar 19, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Large trucks pose a high risk to other drivers on the road. Accidents that involve a large truck often result in serious injuries and death. 

To reduce the risk of crashing with a truck, other passenger vehicles should practice certain safety precautions. 

Fatalities and risks involved with large trucks 

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the fatalities that occur from crashes involving large trucks are usually the occupants of other, smaller vehicles. In fact, only 16% of deaths are occupants of trucks. The rest are car occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. This is due to a number of factors, including the weight and size of large trucks, driver fatigue and braking capacity of large trucks. 

About half of truck accident fatalities occur between the hours of 6 AM and 3 PM, and the majority of them occur Monday through Friday. In terms of truck driver deaths, 54% of them occur due to roll-over accidents. 

Driving tips  

Understanding the differences between large trucks and passenger vehicles help other drivers remain safe around these larger vehicles, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration outlines some rules of the road. 

One of the problems is large vehicles have four big blind spots. The general rule is to assume it is a blind spot if unable to see the driver in the side mirror. If in a blind spot, speed up or slow down to get in a more visible space. 

Because it takes trucks and busses longer to brake, give them more space when passing or merging. If a large vehicle is turning, give it extra room, as it needs more space to do it safely. A passenger vehicle should also refrain from tailgating, as it can slide under a truck during a collision.