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Staying Safe When You’re Driving Near 18-wheel Trucks

We’ve all shared the highway in Missouri with them at some time – those enormous 18-wheel big rigs that are vastly taller, heavier and longer than our cars. They can be intimidating when you are traveling near them, but being scared isn’t enough to keep you safe around a huge commercial motor vehicle.

What does help is familiarity with what to do in various situations so you can protect yourself and your passengers from a collision. Being on the road directly behind or beside a big rig is not the same as driving close to a car or pickup truck. That’s why some tips on staying safe in these circumstances can prevent an accident and save your life.

One element of driving in close proximity to an 18-wheeler that every driver should understand and keep in mind are the large blind spots, or no zones, surrounding such a sizable truck. If you are in one of those blind spots, the truck driver cannot see your vehicle, making for treacherous driving conditions. A big rig’s no zones extend in front of, in back and on both sides of the truck. Your best strategy is to remain well out of a truck’s no zones. Decrease your speed or get ahead of the truck if you can do it safely.

Keep these tips in mind when you drive close to a large commercial motor vehicle:

  • Before you pass a big rig, always check first to be sure the driver can be seen in the rearview mirror. Signal, get in the left lane and increase your speed.
  • Avoid cutting in front of a commercial vehicle. You may be in the truck driver’s blind spot.
  • You should never tailgate a large truck, especially on an incline.
  • Big trucks need plenty of room to make a turn, maybe as much as 55 feet. Don’t put your vehicle right between a truck executing a turn and a curb.

You may want to know more about car and truck collisions. An experienced attorney can be a good source of information.