If you’re driving a smaller vehicle and are not very cautious, big trucks and buses can be potential road risks. Because of their build and size, these large vehicles naturally have “large blind spots, long stopping distances, and limited maneuverability,” according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.
Fortunately, there are safety precautions you can take in order to avoid mishaps involving these vehicles. Here are 7 simple rules to keep in mind when you’re out there on the road:
1. Avoid Blind Spots
As mentioned earlier, trucks and buses have certain blind spots (often referred to as ‘No Zones’) around the vehicle’s front, back, and sides. These are dangerous spots to drive in so never stay there.
“If you can’t see the driver in the truck’s side mirror,” FMCSA reminded, “assume that the driver can’t see you.”
When passing, make sure that you see the driver so you can signal before moving faster. Meanwhile, drive slightly slower when a truck or bus passes so you can give the driver space. That way, you can immediately stay out of the blind spot.
2. Don’t Cut In Too Close
As the site tells us, “cutting in too close in front of another vehicle is always dangerous” and the risk intensifies when its a big truck or a commercial bus.
You have to remember that it takes time for huge vehicles to stop plus the fact that you’re likely in the blind spot as you quickly move in.
3. Never Tailgate
As you can probably tell by now, observing distance is really important when driving around trucks and buses.
This is exactly why tailgaiting is also a big no-no. One wrong move can result to your vehicle sliding under a truck, if you fail to stop right away or if you’re badly hit from behind.
4. Expect Wide Turns
Trucks and buses usually need wide space when they turn so you might as well get out of the way.
So a word of warning: Never attempt to squeeze in once you notice the turn signal on.
5. Fasten Your Seat Belt
If course, we’ve all heard this safety reminder. Wearing your seat belt can save lives so always take the time to buckle up.
Both the driver and passengers should wear seat belts. As for small children, using a car seat would be most ideal. Young ones should always be seated in the backseat.
6. Do Not Text and Drive
Using a mobile device while on the steering wheel is never a good idea. In fact, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of road clashes.
According to FMCSA, there is danger in “underestimating the speed (or overestimating the distance) of a truck or bus particularly when making turns, merging, or changing lanes.”
7. Stay Alert At All Times
Driving can be tiring so be sure to take some well-needed breaks. Have someone as a reliever, especially for long trips. Otherwise, find a safe place and get ample rest before hitting the road again.
Of course, driving under the influence is strongly discouraged. It’s not only illegal but very risky at the same time.
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