In a perfect world, your careful driving habits would allow you to avoid any and every motor vehicle collision. Unfortunately, that is not a particularly realistic goal for someone to set.
Instead, it may be better to focus on reducing your risk for the worst kinds of crashes. Few people would argue with the idea that a commercial truck crash is far more serious than a typical motor vehicle collision. Avoiding a wreck with a big rig could save your life.
Thankfully, there are actually two simple traffic rules that could notably decrease your risk of a collision with a big commercial truck.
Learn about and respect their blind spots
Big commercial trucks have big blind spots, and those blind spots can drastically increase your risk of a wreck. A trucker can’t consider the safety of a vehicle that they don’t see.
A commercial driver will have a hard time seeing someone directly to either side of their trailer, including two lanes to the right of their trailer. They will also struggle to see a vehicle directly behind the vehicle.
Being aware of those blind spots and trying to avoid driving in them when at all possible will decrease the likelihood that a truck driver will turn or merge without noticing your vehicle there. As a general rule, it is usually best to try to see the driver’s face in their mirrors. If you cannot see their face, then the chances are good that they cannot see you.
Be careful about how you merge in front of a big truck
A commercial driver operating a semitruck will definitely be able to see you if you merge right in front of them, but that doesn’t mean that they can stop in time to avoid hitting you. Commercial trucks take longer than smaller vehicles to adjust their speed or come to a complete stop.
When you merge in front of a commercial truck, you want to give twice as much space between the back of your vehicle and the front of yours as you would when passing a smaller vehicle. It is also important that you make sure you are going as fast as the commercial vehicle, if not faster, to avoid accidentally contributing to a rear-end crash that could turn into an override crash.
Committing to better driving habits may help you avoid getting hurt in a commercial vehicle wreck.