18-wheeler accidents can be costly and deadly, but you can avoid them with the proper safety practices.
Pay attention to unsafe driving conditions, and remember that you are in charge of your safety.
1. Practice defensive driving
Follow the speed limit, signal before changing lanes and yield the right of way with an extra distance between you and the truck. Cutting off a truck on the interstate causes the driver to slam on their brakes. Because of their heavy trailers, they cannot slow down as quickly as a car. Many crashes involving 18-wheelers happen because a driver does not signal or merges too quickly. Some drivers also break the speed limit and do not anticipate that a truck is often driving 5 to 10 miles an hour under the posted speed limit. Rear-end collisions are common.
2. Avoid distracted driving
Cell phone use while driving, putting on makeup and eating while driving are all sources of accidents with 18-wheelers. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that nine people are killed in the U.S. every day as a result of distracted driving. This risk only increases when contending with high speeds and large tractor-trailers.
3. Pass trucks on the driver’s side
Another very common cause of truck-related accidents is motorists who pass a truck on the passenger side. The signs and stickers on the back of the truck are sincere. It is extremely dangerous to overtake a truck on the passenger side. The driver cannot see you due to the angle of the mirrors and the size of the truck. If you cannot see the driver, the driver cannot see you. Make a special effort to be safe around large 18-wheelers.