Sharing the Road Safely with Large Trucks

Occupants of a car, usually the driver, sustain 78 percent of fatalities in crashes involving large trucks. There are several driving behaviors that you can adopt to help prevent traffic accidents with commercial motor vehicles:
 
  • Don't cut in front of a large vehicle:
Cutting in front of a large vehicle causes an emergency brake situation, especially in heavy traffic. Trucks and buses take longer to stop than cars. When passing a large truck, look for the front of the vehicle in your rear-view mirror prior to changing lanes.
 
  • Always buckle your seat belt:
Trucks require a greater stopping distance and can seriously hurt you if you are struck from behind. Your seat belt will prevent you from striking the steering wheel or windshield and from being thrown around or even ejected from the vehicle.
 
  • Watch blind spots:
Large trucks have blind spots or NO-ZONES around the front, back, and sides of the truck. Don't hang out in the NO-ZONES. If you can't see the truck driver in the truck's mirror, the truck driver can't see you.
 
  • Inattentive drivers:
Inattentive drivers do not pay attention to driving or what's going on around them. They can ignore a truck's braking lights or signals. When driving, only focus on the road. If you need to attend to another matter, pull over.
 
  • Aggressive drivers:
Speeding, running red lights and stop signs, pulling in front of trucks too quickly when passing and making frequent lane changes, especially in the blind spots of trucks can create dangerous, even fatal situations on the road.
 
  • Avoid squeeze play:
Be careful of trucks making wide right turns. If you try to get in between the truck and the curb, you'll get caught in a squeeze and could suffer a serious accident. Truck drivers need to swing wide to the left in order to safely make a right turn and can't see cars directly behind or beside them. Pay attention to truck signals and give them lots of room to maneuver.
 
  • Never drink and drive:
Alcohol affects a person's ability to make crucial driving decisions. You are not the only one in danger when you choose to drink and drive. You are sharing the road with everyone, including large vehicles and you increase your chances of getting into an accident. Odds of surviving an accident with a large truck are very low, so think before you drink.