There are risks for all motorists on the road. However, when there are large commercial trucks in the vicinity, this increases the risks of getting into an accident.
Driving around trucks takes different skills because of the size and weight of the large vehicles, and most accidents result in injuries and death for passenger vehicles. Although truck drivers are at fault in some of the crashes, other drivers should do their part to improve safety on the road.
Crash statistics and facts
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute, crashes involving large trucks result in more fatalities for the occupants of the other vehicles. Of the more than 4,000 truck-related deaths in 2018, 67% of them were passenger vehicle occupants, 16% were commercial truck occupants and 15% were motorcyclists, pedestrians or bicyclists. When there were only two vehicles involved, 96% of the fatalities were passenger vehicle occupants.
Of the accidents involving fatalities, 52% occurred on major roads and 33% happened on freeways and highways. The majority of these accidents occurred during the week.
Safe driving tips
Some of the risks related to truck drivers include fatigue and brake issues. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration outlines safety tips for other vehicle drivers. Some common rules include:
- Passing safely – Drivers should ensure they can see the truck in the rearview mirror before moving back into the lane, and they should not pass on downgrades or in the right lane.
- Staying out of blind spots – Trucks have four large blind spots, and drivers should be able to see the driver in the truck’s side mirror.
- Avoiding cutting off – Trucks take longer to stop, so other drivers should not cut in too close in front of them.
- Anticipating wide turns – Trucks need extra width to make a turn, so drivers should give them the space they need.
- Staying back – One of the blind spots of trucks is right behind them, so drivers should leave plenty of room between trucks and their vehicles.
These tips, along with general safety advice such as not driving tired or while under the influence, can help improve safety on the road for everyone.