When driving a car, you need to take extra care in the vicinity of truckers. These kings of the road provide an essential service, yet, due to the nature of the job, and the vehicle itself, they can be dangerous to other road users.
You might think that the massive windshield of a truck cab means drivers can see everything. However, while it is great for enjoying the scenery on a long cross-country drive, truckers have a limited ability to see what is around them due to the vehicle’s size.
Starting at the front, the driver has a good view of things in front, but not if you get too close under their nose. This is because they are high off the ground. Think about when you are standing up looking straight ahead. You can see in front, but it is harder to see your feet.
Moving to the sides of the truck, where you will pass when overtaking or when it overtakes you. Truckers have blind spots to the side of their vehicles which can extend across a lane or more. A simple rule of thumb is if you cannot see the driver in their wing mirror, pull back until you can because they cannot see you.
Never follow close behind a tractor-trailer
Now think about what a truck driver can see behind them. Next time you park your car, tilt your rearview mirror out of the way and see what you can see in your wing mirrors. Could you see a small child crouched to pick up a ball right behind you? Yet, if the child moved further behind, you would be able to see them. Remember, an 18-wheeler is much longer than your car, so the distance you need to be further back for them to see.
Following these tips can increase the chance a trucker sees you. However, a trucker who is distracted, sleepy or driving poorly could still cause a truck crash leaving you in need of compensation.