Remember the movie “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”? Their whole perspective shifted when Nick, Amy, Russ, and Ron shrunk down to the size of around 3/4ths an inch. How they moved and interacted with the world was completely different because of their much larger surroundings.
While the size difference between most cars and an 18-wheeler truck is not “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” level, it is still significant. In the complex study of physics, the mass and size of an object will determine how it interacts with its surroundings. 18-wheeler trucks are massive, making potential accidents involving them much more dangerous than a regular car crash. Here are some tips to prevent an 18-wheeler crash from happening.
Watch Out for Blindspots
Larger vehicles like 18-wheelers have larger blind spots. Typically the blindspot is located 20 feet in front of the truck and 30 feet behind the commercial transport. In this case, you would want to either move ahead of the truck or slow down enough that they can see you in their mirrors.
As stated in the previous point, moving ahead of the truck is an excellent way to stay out of their blindspot and have enough space between you and the truck to avoid any potential crashes or collisions.
When you move ahead of the truck, approach it from the left side because the driver will have an easier time spotting you. Clearly signal before advancing and keep a consistent speed as you surpass the truck. Before merging back into your original lane, check your rearview mirror. Checking your rearview mirror is a good indicator of whether the truck is far enough behind your vehicle.
Increase Your Following Distance
The following distance should be at least 4 seconds between you and the 18-wheeler. Tailgating large commercial vehicles will often put you in their blind spot, and if you happen to be rear-ended by the vehicle behind you, crashing into the 18-wheeler will have disastrous results. Being too close also puts you at risk if the commercial vehicle experiences issues like a tire blowout or a rollover.
This rule applies to almost any driving situation but is doubly important for driving near large commercial vehicles, which typically drive slower than regular traffic. This is because 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles often have a strict set of regulations they have to follow when operating the vehicle. A few seconds of your time to be patient and wait for a better opportunity to pass is safer than risking a collision with an 18-wheeler.
Watch Out for Light Signals
18-wheelers rely heavily on their light signals, especially when it comes to merging lanes. If the light flashes once, the driver is signaling to you to go ahead of it, but if it flashes multiple times, it is not safe to merge in front of them.
Hopefully, these tips will help you the next time you’re driving near an 18-wheeler. However, accidents still happen. If they do, the Ryan Solis Law Group is here to help. You can visit our website www.rsolislaw.com or call us at: (956) 686-9600. You can also follow us on Facebook to get the latest updates on our firm!