Large commercial trucks such as 18-wheelers cause some of the most devastating and deadly accidents in Louisiana as well as across the U.S. In order to help reduce the risk of trucking accidents, we’re offering motorists some safety tips – and also providing some
safety pointers for truckers.
How Motorists Can Avoid Truck Accidents
- DO NOT Tailgate – You need to keep at least 4 seconds of distance between your car and a big rig. To calculate this, pick out a landmark that the truck passes and count the number of seconds it takes your vehicle to reach the landmark.
- Learn How to Pass Safely – Always pass large trucks on the left (you’re more visible to the driver on that side). Put your turn signal on well in advance before changing lanes and passing.
- Beware of Wide Turns – 18-wheelers need much more room to turn than do smaller vehicles. Never pass a truck when its turn signal is on, as the driver may need to swing partially into your lane to execute the turn.
- Be Patient – Never honk your horn or swerve through traffic to try and get around a slow-moving 18-wheeler. Truck drivers are sometimes required to drive slowly and must follow very strict driving regulations.
Safety Tips for Truck Drivers
- Watch Your Blind Spots – Small vehicles are easy to miss, so it’s important to watch carefully and signal lane changes well in advance to allow cars enough time to get out of your blind spot.
- Keep Your Distance – It takes you much longer to stop than it does for a car. Be sure to maintain a safe distance from the vehicles in front of your truck.
- Stay Alert and Well Rested – Never drive when sleepy or if you feel ill. If drowsy, pull over immediately and take a nap.
- Practice Good Brake Maintenance – Check your brakes on a regular basis, as brake failure is one of the major causes of truck accidents.