Commercial trucks are a vital part of the American economy, as they transport necessary goods across Minnesota and throughout the United States. While you may feel comfortable and familiar with driving alongside large trucks, you may not understand the significant risk they pose to other motorists.
The massive size of large trucks alone puts others in danger, as they may weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Their height and length also make them susceptible to tipping over, skidding and jackknifing. It is important to know how to drive safely around large trucks to minimize the risk of serious car accidents.
What are the facts?
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 4,014 people were killed in large truck accidents in 2020 alone. This number decreased from the 4,909 people who were killed the year before. Approximately 55 of those deaths were in Minnesota.
How to play it safe
It is essential to stay out of a truck’s blind spots, as the truck driver cannot see any vehicles in this area. Since the largest blind spots are on the right-hand side and behind the truck, always pass the truck quickly and on the left-hand side if possible. Never change lanes or pull out in front of a truck and slow down. Keep in mind that large trucks require a longer distance to stop, especially if they are going fast. Finally, allow trucks to make wide turns at stoplights.
You can protect yourself and others by driving safe and remaining cautious around big rigs. Slow down around large trucks and give yourself time to anticipate their next move.