The summer is a big time for travel, and with July 4th falling on a long weekend this year, you can bet there will be loads of traffic on the roads. And as we all know too well, increased traffic full of people hurrying to cookouts, pool parties, and family reunions can lead to increased accidents on the road.
With one of the biggest travel holidays coming up this week, now’s a great time to reiterate some safe driving tips for car and semi truck drivers alike.
1. Avoid Blind Spots
Probably the most important safe driving tip to remember when sharing the road with trucks is that they have much larger blind spots than your average passenger vehicle. About 1/3 of fatal accidents between cars and large trucks occur in a blind spot, so it’s crucial to remember where they’re located!
A semi truck has four large blind spots:
Directly behind the trailer: Poor visibility makes it easy to rear end or slide under a semi truck if a passenger car is following too closely.
Directly in front of the semi truck: The nose of the tractor extends out and makes it difficult for truck drivers to see cars that cut in front of them, which can lead to rear-endings.
Along the driver and passenger side doors: The long sides of the trailer can block a truck driver's view of the cars next to the truck.
2. Leave Plenty of Room
If you profile 1,000 truck drivers on the street, most will say the most annoying thing on the road is when cars cut in front of them and don’t leave nearly enough space for trucks to stop. It takes large trucks significantly longer to come to a stop than it takes a small passenger vehicle. And with due reason – a fully loaded semi truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds!
3. Don't Linger Near the Truck
One thing that all drivers experience at one time or another is that vehicle that just cruises along next to the semi truck for miles and miles. Many car drivers are unaware that this is a bad thing, but truck drivers cannot see passenger vehicles that are along the side of the trailer tractor due to the length of the vehicle. The proper thing to do is quickly complete your pass and get back in front of the driver so as to not be hidden along the side of the truck.
View all ten safe driving tips to ensure your 4th of July holiday is as safe as it can be!