How to Pass an 18-Wheeler Safely
Driving with 18-wheelers can be scary, especially when you’re passing them. Despite what car drivers believe, 72% of collisions between 18-wheelers and passenger cars are caused by car drivers. Many motorcyclists are unaware of the extra care required to maneuver around large vehicles safely.
Following a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit involving a commercial motor vehicle collision requires a significant time and financial commitment. Therefore, contact a commercial truck accident lawyer if you have been injured in a commercial vehicle collision. They can save you time and money since they have experience in dealing with cases like yours.
However, you can protect yourself from 18-wheelers if you follow the below essential tips.
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Keep Your Eyes Open While Crossing
Driving requires constant attention, but driving beside an 18-wheeler requires extra caution and alertness. Larger vehicles often experience tire blowouts, causing drifts and debris ejections. You must be careful when overtaking a trailer to avoid a collision if there is a flat tire or if an 18-wheeler crosses your path.
It’s a good idea to observe what route a large truck is taking and how you’ll pass it before closing to a car. For example, trucks often remain in the center lane for automobiles to move left of the lane. Additionally, truck drivers signal whether it is secure to connect by flashing their lights in their front.
Avoid Cut-Off Heavy Loaded 18-Wheelers
An 18-wheeler may be up to 40 tonnes heavy because they are legally allowed. However, be careful when crossing an 18-wheeler as it takes time to stop because their weight requires more effort and takes longer than stopping a small car. However, if you’re passing one, never slow down after connecting in front of an 18-wheeler to avoid being cut off. If the driver cannot stop quickly enough, it can result in an accident that can be fatal.
Likewise, even if you are willing to pass an 18-wheeler, you should never tailgate them. Following a truck too closely can leave your car open to flying objects and lead to a severe collision. Since most of the damage will be to your windshield rather than your bumper in a rear-end accident with an 18-wheeler, it is far riskier.
Keep Your Vehicle a Few Miles Away When Passing 18-Wheeler
Even when passing an 18-wheeler, giving plenty of room is one of the ways of ensuring safe driving. Also, keep your distance from the truck and avoid driving in front, next to, or behind the 18-wheeler. Passing heavy trucks isn’t always the safest decision, especially in traffic, so If you can, give 18-wheelers the right of way.
Pass Your Vehicle As Quickly As Possible
It would be ideal to pass an 18-wheeler quickly. However, there are a few reasons why you should avoid standing near a large vehicle for long periods, including:
- A sizable gap along the trailer of every 18-wheeler prevents the driver from seeing you if you are following closely and increases the likelihood that they will change lanes.
- Cars closest to the trailer are most vulnerable to flying debris and tire bursts.
- In breezy situations, the trailer may move toward your overtaking lane.
Stay as far away from the vehicle as possible, move quickly out of traffic, and pay attention to your blind zone to safely avoid accidents with passing trucks. As a general rule, they probably can’t see your car if you can’t see the driver’s face.