The next time you get on the road, take a second to notice all the massive semi-trucks that may be sharing the road with you. Chances are, you will notice them all around you, thanks to the number of oil, mining and gas companies located here in West Virginia.
Because of all this truck traffic, it is crucial to know what you can do as a motorist to stay safe and avoid an accident with one of these vehicles.
Driving safely around semi-trucks
There are three basic ways motorists can avoid causing a crash with a truck: be alert, stay visible and leave space.
Being alert is crucial, as even the smallest swerve or decrease in speed by a trucker can lead to an accident. Put your phone away, be mindful of the traffic around you and avoid in-car distractions while you are driving near commercial trucks.
Staying visible is also important. Keep in mind that trucks have huge blind spots; driving behind, next to and even in front of a truck can mean that you are not visible to the trucker. These are the so-called “No Zones.” To be visible, make sure you can see the trucker in his or her side mirror.
Leaving space between you and trucks can prevent accidents, as well. Trucks take longer to speed up and slow down than passenger vehicles, and they require more space to turn. They can also veer out of their lanes more easily than smaller cars. As such, leave plenty of space when trucks are merging, switching lanes or driving in traffic — and never following trucks too closely.
Taking these precautions can keep motorists safer when sharing the road with a truck.
If an accident still occurs
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts as motorists, trucking accidents still happen. Truckers may not take the same precautions behind the wheel. Vehicle parts can break or fail without warning. Weather conditions can make the roads far more dangerous.
That said, drivers who practice the basic safe driving habits we discussed above when sharing the road with trucks can be more likely to steer clear of a crash and get home safely.