BIG RIGS AND SHARING THE ROAD
It takes special driving skills and knowledge to drive safely around
big rigs. You cannot drive around the big rigs the way you drive around
other vehicles and the most important tip is to give a wide berth to
the big rig. Statistics show that collisions between large trucks and
lighter vehicles frequently result in death to the driver or occupants
of the "other vehicle." In 80% of fatal accidents involving big trucks
and lighter vehicles, it is not an occupant of the big truck who dies.
Those big rigs are different because they have a much longer stopping
distance than other vehicles, and longer still on wet roads. The
ability of the rig driver to control their rig during emergency
braking is very limited. Also, truck drivers cannot see you nearly
as well as you can see the truck, and if there is a crash, you lose.
Drivers of smaller vehicles need to practice the following safety tips:
As a general rule, keep as much space as possible between your vehicle
and large trucks
Do not cut in front of a truck just because you see open space there.
That space is the truck's cushion of safety because of its longer
distance. If you have to stop suddenly, it will be very difficult for
truck to avoid hitting you. Also, if the truck has a long hood the
driver may not be able to see you at all.
Do not linger alongside a truck; you may be in the trucker's blind
spot. The size and configuration of many trucks, especially those
with trailers, create large blind spots for truck driver. If you
cannot see a truck drivers face, in one of his mirrors, he/she cannot
see you and probably does not know that you are there.
If you are following a truck and cannot see the truck's side mirrors,
you are driving too close. The driver cannot see you, so back off.
Always give trucks plenty of room when they are turning. The
relationship between the cab, mirrors, and trailer change constantly
during a turn, creating varying blind spots. Also, trucks need extra
space to turn because of their size.
A collision with a large truck can have tragic consequences for the
occupants of the smaller vehicle. Always adjust your driving around
the big rigs.
Source: Network of Employers for Traffic Safety