Driving Near Big Trucks
In fatal crashes involving a car and a truck, the car occupants are far more likely to be killed. Driving mistakes around trucks can have tragic consequences.
In collisions, the sheer size of some trucks puts car occupants at a disadvantage. Many drivers are intimidated when they must share the road with large trucks, and not without reason. A manoeuvre by a car near a large truck may be more dangerous than the same manoeuvre near another car. Similarly, a large truck may perform a manoeuvre that carries low risk of a crash near another truck in the traffic stream, but a higher risk when performed near a smaller vehicle.
These are five driving behaviors that are factors in most of the fatal crashes:
- failing to stay in the lane or running off the road;
- failing to yield the right of way;
- driving too fast for conditions or above the speed limit;
- failing to obey signs and signals; and
- driver inattention.
A few basic defensive driving habits could save a lot of lives:
- Don't change lanes abruptly.
- Slow down to let trucks have the right of way.
- Drive at a safe speed.
- Stay alert to traffic signals and road conditions.
- Use turn signals.
- Never cut in front of a truck.
- Avoid driving alongside trucks whenever possible - if you can't see the truck driver's face in the side mirror, he or she can't see you.
- Avoid tailgating.