When you are driving on the highway and see a truck in the lane next to you, your car might feel small comparatively. Even if you have an SUV or a pickup truck, your vehicle is probably tiny next to an 18-wheeler. If you got into an accident with the tractor-trailer next to you, your car may not stand a chance.
Trucks operate differently from cars—so you need to be careful when driving around them. There are a few driving behaviors that may help you avoid truck crashes.
Stay clear when trucks turn
If you and a truck meet at an intersection, you should know where to stop. Normally you might drive all the way onto the crosswalk at a red light or stop sign. But it is dangerous to do that when a truck is involved.
When a truck turns, it can swing out into multiple other lanes. When you are next to the truck and it is turning in your direction, either slow down or stop early to make sure it has enough room.
Make sure you are visible when merging
Trucks have larger blind spots than cars. If you are sharing a multiple-lane road with one, you may be completely invisible to the driver. A good rule is to make sure that you can see the truck’s mirrors.
If the truck driver doesn’t know that you are next to them, they might merge right into you, thinking that the lane is empty. This mistake may result in a serious accident.
Be patient when starting and stopping
Because of their weight, trucks may take a bit more time to speed up than you. Be aware that it might take several seconds before a truck climbs up to the speed limit after it starts moving.
Trucks also take longer than cars to stop. If traffic is slowing down, a truck driver might start braking earlier than you would. Make sure that you give the driver space to stop if you merge in front of them.
Accidents with large trucks can cause serious injuries. You should take your time and watch where you are in relation to trucks to keep yourself safe.