It seems like you hear about someone being injured or killed in a truck related accident almost daily in Connecticut. Tractor trailers drive on 84, 95 and 91, as well as some smaller highways, at high rates of speed and sometimes with little regard to the cars on the road. Additionally people driving cars are at times also careless or unaware of their surroundings. People driving cars have been known to cut off trucks that cannot stop as quickly as cars thus causing truck accidents that often lead to serious injuries or even worse, death. There are 400,000 large vehicle accidents every year. 3,675 people died in 2010 because of truck accidents and other large vehicle accidents. Sharing the road can be a matter of life and death for all drivers.
Below are the tips on how to stay safe while driving beside large vehicles such as dump trucks, tractor trailers and construction trucks.
When tractor trailers drive in the city they can be really hazardous if you are not paying attention. When they take right hand turns they have to swing out really wide. It is suggested that you stay out of the truck driver’s blind spot when a truck is moving. A truck driver cannot see a car on either side of its trailer or cab.
Sometimes truckers have to swing out into the opposite lane to be able to make the turn. If you try to make a pass on the side its turning the driver might not see you and it can crash into or run over your car. It is difficult for tractor trailer drivers to see alongside their cabs & trailers because large vehicles have larger blind spots than cars do. Blind spots are the areas around a vehicle where other cars and trucks disappear from the view of the driver. It is better to give them some room while driving. If you are attempting to drive around the trailer be aware that there is a good chance they cannot see you.
Trucks with trailers can’t see vehicles that are following closely behind them. If you are so close to the trailer that you are unable to see the side view mirrors then the truck driver will be unable to see you. Maintain some distance between you and the truck to avoid a potential truck accident. The rear area directly behind the trailer is a blind spot.
When passing a trailer start your pass farther back then when passing a car. It will take longer to complete the pass because of the trailer’s length. Make sure you have plenty of road ahead before beginning your pass. Keep in mind that sometimes passing a trailer can be difficult because trailers create a lot of turbulence at high speed. It can be difficult to keep control of your vehicle especially if the weather conditions are less than perfect. While passing; the turbulent air movement around the trailer can make it seem as though your vehicle is not in your control anymore. That’s why it is best to stay as far over in your lane as possible throughout the pass.
Another hazard when passing a large truck can be poor weather conditions, especially rain or snow. The spray from a trailer as a result of water on the road can reduce your visibility; or completely eliminate it. If you are going to pass in these conditions turn on your headlights so that the truck driver can detect your presence. Also make sure your windshield wipers are on so that you can see the trailer while passing.
Never hang out on either side of a trailer. The side areas of the trailer are the truck driver’s blind spot. A trucker not being able to see you might try to switch lanes and cause a truck vs. car accident. With a high cab and a long trailer it is harder for the truck driver to see smaller cars alongside his or her truck. Stay out of their blind spots. Pass as quickly as possible and wait until you are able to see the trucks front tires in the rear-view mirror before you move back into the lane.
Stay safe on our Connecticut Highways. Stay Alert, avoid distracted driving and respect the other vehicles on the road.