Truck drivers have to be some of the safest drivers on the road. With approximately 3.5 million truck drivers on the road today, if they didn’t practice driving with the utmost safety, the road would be a dangerous place!
But, because professional drivers have to follow such rules and be the real kings (and queens!) of the road, it’s important for everyday drivers to at least try to do the same.
With that in mind, there are a few road safety tips that truck drivers wish we knew. Let’s dive into some of them so you can put them into practice the next time you’re behind the wheel.
Give Them Space in the Front
Most drivers know you shouldn’t tailgate another vehicle, but it’s also never a good idea to pull in front of a truck on the road, especially if you’re trying to cut ahead of them at a stop light. First of all, it’s just not a good example of sharing the road.
More importantly, though, it’s dangerous.
Semi-trucks use air brakes, which means there’s a lag time when they try to stop. When you add on the weight of the truck itself and the load its carrying, that can create even more time. So, if you cut in front of a truck and you’re too close, despite the driver’s best efforts they could easily rear-end you - and that won’t just be a fender bender.
Pay Attention to Blind Spots
Truck drivers do everything they can to minimize their blind spots by adjusting their mirrors in different ways. But, they’re called “blind spots” for a reason. Despite their best efforts, drivers cannot see you if you’re in their blind spots.
A good rule of thumb to use? If you can’t see the mirrors on the truck, they can’t see you. So, if they try to switch lanes or if a tire blows out while you’re on the side of the truck, it can cause serious damage and the truck driver wouldn’t know anything about it.
Pay Attention at On Ramps
When you’re getting onto the highway, it’s incredibly important to pay attention to your surroundings. The minute a truck driver sees you getting on, it's their job to pay close attention to you to make sure they don’t get involved in an accident. If they can, they’ll move over to ensure you can get on safely. But, it’s up to you to look for other vehicles and trucks and make your best judgment as to when to merge on.
Far too many people take risks when jumping onto the highway, thinking they can quickly speed up and go with the flow of traffic. But, as stated above, trucks have a hard time stopping or slowing down quickly. If you cut in front of one without enough time/space between the vehicles, the truck could run into you simply because they didn’t have enough time to stop.
The moral of the story here? Pay attention to truck drivers when you’re on the road. They’re doing everything they can to keep themselves and other drivers safe, but with so many cars on the road, they can’t do it alone.
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