You probably aren’t a truck driver, but you can still take steps to prevent truck accidents. Collisions with commercial trucks tend to be far more devastating than regular car accidents, owing to their immense size. As responsible motorists and auto insurance owners, we have a duty to drive safely in the presence of commercial trucks. Here are some tips to help you prevent truck accidents.
Maintain Proper Distance
Really, keeping a safe distance from other vehicles on the road is one of the simplest steps any driver can take to reduce the risk of an accident. In the presence of a commercial truck, this is especially important. Be sure to leave a proper following distance of at least 30 feet, or 4 seconds, when behind a truck. If you are driving too closely behind an 18-wheeler, you of course run the risk of rear-ending them if they suddenly stop or slow down. But there is the added threat of reduced visibility for yourself because of the truck obscuring your vision.
You should also maintain a safe distance when driving in front of commercial trucks. It has been estimated that trucks require 90% more space to stop than passenger vehicles. Be absolutely certain that you don’t cut too closely in front of a truck. You should also assume that up to 20 feet in front of a truck is a blind spot; the driver cannot see you if you’re too close.
Be Careful When Passing
Passing around a semi-truck requires extra caution. One helpful tip is always to pass trucks on the left, because it is easier for them to see you on the driver’s side. You should also try to avoid passing trucks when the terrain is noticeably uphill or downhill, as this can naturally cause the truck to decrease or increase its speed respectively. Remember what we said earlier about following distance, and don’t merge back in front of the truck until you’re well in front of them. A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t do so until you can see the driver in your rear-view mirror.
Anticipate Their Turns
Being cautious around turning semi-trucks can help to reduce the likelihood of an accident. You may have noticed signs on the back of some commercial trucks indicating that they take wide right turns. The truth is that their left turns are just as wide right turns, only that wide right turns tend to pose more of a problem for other drivers on the road. You should always give trucks extra space when they’re turning, because the cab track can cut significantly wider than that of their trailer.
With the above tips in mind, we believe that you can drastically reduce the risk of a truck accident. But even if you follow your best practices, an accident could happen at any moment. Please contact us with any inquiries regarding auto insurance.
Get in Touch with Wachter Insurance
Whether you need home, business, life, or auto insurance, our team at Wachter Insurance Agency, Inc. is here to help. We offer all of our clients competitive rates, professional customer service, and a huge range of policies to choose from for your needs. We have been serving Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia since 1969, and we would love to help keep your home and family safe every day of the year. For more information, give us a call at (301) 371-6335 or visit us online. For more blogs like these, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.