Most people find driving in close proximity to commercial trucks a little frightening. This massive vehicles have huge blind spots. They are more susceptible to wind shear due to the large surface area of the tractor trailer. Their heavy weight means that they take longer to stop and speed up. They also often make wide turns, which can create a dangerous situation for smaller vehicles in an intersection.
Of course, these huge vehicles also move a significant portion of consumer goods and manufacturing materials around the country. There’s not much you can do to simply avoid sharing the road with commercial trucks. However, you should do your best to stay smart and drive safely around them. That can prevent you and your loved ones from becoming another statistic about driving safety in Georgia.
The size discrepancy puts the smaller vehicle in danger
Being larger and heavier means that commercial trucks consume far more gasoline than smaller passenger vehicles. It also means that they can do much more damage to these smaller vehicles in the event of a crash or collision. Trucks can completely demolish a smaller vehicle if they ride over the top of it. They can also rip the top off the vehicle and cause other kinds of catastrophic damage.
When a commercial truck crashes into a smaller vehicle, the people in the smaller vehicle almost always end up paying the price, regardless of who caused the crash. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2016, 97 percent of fatalities related to truck-passenger vehicle collisions were the people in the smaller vehicle. Given that serious discrepancy in danger, it’s best to err on the side of caution when it comes to big trucks.
Stay alert, and try to give commercial trucks space
The single most important thing you can do behind the wheel to keep yourself and your passengers safe is to remain carefully aware of the road and other vehicles at all times. Many serious driving mistakes happen as a result of driver inattention or neglect. Cutting off a passenger vehicle because you failed to notice it could mean getting rear-ended. Cutting off a massive commercial truck could have fatal consequences.
Remember that you don’t want to drive directly in front of, behind or next to a commercial truck if there is any way to avoid doing so. Ideally, you want to stay at least five seconds ahead of or behind a large truck, if not more. That ensures the commercial driver can see you and that you both have time to stop in the event of an emergency.
Pay close attention to the blinkers and positioning of trucks at intersections as well. You may need to refrain from pulling all the way forward in an adjacent lane until the truck has completed its turn. A few moments of inconvenience are absolutely preferable to experiencing a collision with a big truck.