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9 things truck drivers wish you knew

February 14, 2015 by Steven M. Gursten

Tips to prevent truck accidents, from the trucker’s perspective

truck driver (2)

Today I’m sharing some safety tips to avoid truck accidents, but this time from the truck driver’s perspective. Several of these tips are pulled from truck drivers who were clients of mine and from actual cases where my clients (who were in the truck) were injured in accidents caused by people driving passenger cars.

Most of these tips will help you when driving around trucks. Hopefully these safety tips will also help you see things from the truckers’ point of view as well. Most have to do with giving the truck more room and stopping time, as it takes large commercial vehicles longer to slow down or stop than it does people driving in much smaller and lighter cars.

  1. Be careful of my blind spot.
  2. Don’t abruptly change lanes around me because it takes me longer to slow down in a big tractor trailer than it does for you in a 6,000 pound passenger car.
  3. Give me more space in bad weather, because it takes me longer to slow down.
  4. Don’t cut me off!
  5. Don’t tailgate. Try and maintain a proper following distance.
  6. Watch out when I’m turning, because left turns and right turns are some of the most dangerous driving maneuvers for truck drivers, and have the greatest potential for causing a crash with a pedestrian, bicyclist or car.
  7. Be more careful when  I’m passing you, as water or dirt from my tires might spray and reduce your visibility momentarily.  Oh, and you might need a car wash after as well.
  8. Just because I’m in a big truck doesn’t mean you should use your bright lights when behind me. Use your low-beam headlights when you’re behind me at night, just as you would with anyone, as the high-beams limit my visibility.
  9. Give me more space when driving behind me. If you rear-end me, you are at great risk of serious injury because your car could slip underneath my truck.

I’d like to make this a two-part blog post.

What else do you wish drivers of cars knew? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and I’ll use your suggestions for the second safety blog in this series.

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