Why defensive driving is crucial around trucks

If you drive long enough, you will pass plenty of crashes on the roads. If you have been lucky enough to avoid being in one yourself, it is crucial to remember that they are always a possibility.

Defensive driving reduces the chances you are in a crash. As 18-wheelers can do you more harm than any other vehicle, driving defensively around these road monsters makes even more sense.

How can you drive defensively around 18-wheelers?

These tips could save your life:

  • Keep a safe following distance: If you are too close behind a truck, you could end up underneath it, taking your roof and head off in the process. The safe following distance is usually 3 seconds, but you need to increase it for trucks until you can see yourself in their side mirrors.
  • Do not assume you know what another driver intends to do: A wrong guess could be fatal when you second-guess a truck driver. For example, you think they will turn right. Even if they do, they may move left first to make the turn, so they could take you out if you guessed it was a safe moment to overtake.
  • Keep an escape route open: You go to overtake a truck on a hill. What happens if you cannot get past as fast as you thought? If a vehicle suddenly appears coming the other way you may have nowhere to go for the whole length of the truck and its trailers.

Even when you have the right to make a particular maneuver, it may be better to cede it to protect your safety. One truck driver error could leave you with catastrophic injuries requiring extensive compensation.