Semi-trucks can seem very intimidating on highways as they barrel along at 75 or 80 mph. Despite whether or not you do indeed have the right of way, the best rule of thumb is to allow the much larger vehicle the right of way, in the end. This seems like common sense, correct?
However, statistics paint a different picture. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), and the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) compiled statistics regarding accidents involving trucks.
Drivers of smaller passenger vehicles caused 75 percent of commercial truck wrecks. 60.5 injuries and 2.3 deaths are due to big rigs for every 100 million miles driven in the United States. Almost 13 percent of the 15.5 million trucks in the country are 18-wheelers, semis, big rigs, and tractor-trailers. Injuries occurred in nearly 22 percent of all truck accidents.
The experienced staff at Precision Collision can attest to the fact that there typically isn't much car left to repair when a driver collides with a large truck. Here are a few tips on how to safely share the roadways with larger trucks.
DonŐt tailgate large trucks. This is always an unwise decision, but especially behind large trucks in which the driver can't see you. Also keep in mind that big rigs might roll slightly backwards before accelerating from a stopped position. The larger tires are more likely to kick up rocks and other debris that can damage windshields.
Pass only on the left side of a truck. A general rule of thumb is that the truck driver can't see you until you are able to see his or her mirrors due to their larger blind spots behind and on both sides. Don't pull in front of the truck until its headlights appear in your rearview mirror.