Auto accidents with tractor-trailers and other large trucks can result in devastating personal injury. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports more than 4,000 fatalities in this type of collision in 2018 alone, 82% of whom were traveling in a car, on foot, on a bike or by motorcycle.
These safety tips can help you protect yourself from these dangerous incidents.
Avoid blind spots
If you are too close to a large truck, the driver will not be able to see you. Stay out of the zones directly next to and behind a tractor-trailer. Give these vehicles significant following distance since they need plenty of time to stop. Pay close attention when passing a truck and make sure it is safe to do so before changing lanes.
When you see a large truck merging, changing lanes or otherwise maneuvering on the road, give the driver the right-of-way. These vehicles are extremely heavy and require significant power to slow, stop and turn. Cutting off or blocking a truck making these moves can be quite dangerous.
Pull off the road
If you experience an emergency such as a flat tire while on the highway, pull completely off the road as long as it is safe to do so. Staying within a traffic lane creates an obstacle for approaching tractor-trailers, and it may be difficult for the driver to stop or get out of your lane depending on the flow of traffic.
Be aware of the weather
Slick roads and poor visibility pose significant challenges for drivers of large vehicles. When rain or snow is in the forecast, stay home if at all possible or use roads that are free of heavy tractor-trailer traffic. Collisions of this kind are much more likely during inclement weather.
Whenever possible, avoid traveling next to a tractor-trailer, and never travel between two trucks. When doing so is unavoidable, sound your horn or make eye contact to ensure the truck drivers see you.