Semi-trucks play a very important role in the modern domestic economy. They provide a reliable source of blue-collar employment for many skilled drivers and help keep transportation costs for goods and materials reasonable. Land transportation using semi-trucks is a very cost-effective means of distributing resources manufactured in one location elsewhere in North America. However, although semi-trucks or 18-wheelers are very useful for public commerce, they are also a source of public risk on the road.
Commercial trucks can cause collisions with smaller vehicles that result in deadly or life-altering consequences. Sometimes, commercial drivers are to blame for those crashes, but other times those in small vehicles make mistakes that increase their risk of causing a wreck. The two common driving mistakes below play a role in many serious semi-truck crashes.
Getting too close to a commercial vehicle
There are very big blind spots around the trailers of semi-trucks. All too often, drivers on highways and other multi-lane roads stay in these blind zones and endanger themselves by doing so. Avoiding the space directly next to and behind a commercial vehicle’s trailer will help ensure that the commercial driver can see a smaller vehicle in traffic. Although moving through a semi-truck’s blind spots is sometimes unavoidable, drivers will be safest if they stay out of those blind spots as much as possible.
Cutting off a commercial truck or merging improperly
Some people are more aggressive at the wheel than others and might weave in and out of lanes of traffic to pass other vehicles. Moving around a commercial truck can put someone at risk of a crash if they do not maintain the same speed as the bigger vehicle or travel faster than the semi-truck they pass. Merging too close in front of a semi-truck could lead to a rear-end collision that could turn into an override collision. When maneuvering in front of a semi-truck in traffic, drivers should try to exceed its speed and leave twice as much space as they would when merging in front of a smaller vehicle.