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Drivers of Passenger Cars Need to Practice Good Safety Habits When Driving Near Trucks

Truck accidents are caused by many factors, and while drivers of passenger vehicles are not always to blame for truck accidents and resulting personal injury, trucks sharing the roads with much smaller vehicles does pose some unique challenges. If you drive a passenger vehicle, you can do your part to prevent truck accidents by:

1) Driving behind or in front of a truck. Lingering next to a truck is a bad idea, since this is where trucks have many blind spots. If you can, pass a truck or drive well behind a truck. Keep in mind that trucks have large blind spots behind their trailers as well, so give yourself extra room. Maintain at least a four second distance, and more than that in bad weather or poor visibility.

2) Slowing down when a truck passes you. When a larger vehicle passes you, dirt and water from the truck’s tires can spray up at you. If the truck is traveling quickly and you have a low-slung car, especially, much of your windshield could be covered in dirt. Obviously, this problem is worse in bad weather when mud and rain create more muck for the truck to churn up. If a truck is passing you, slow down slightly and be prepared to use your windshield wipers in case you are momentarily blinded.

3) Using extra caution when a truck pulling a trailer passes you. The trailer could swing into your lane in certain conditions. If possible, give the truck some extra room by squeezing over. Or, drop back a little to give the truck some extra room and to give yourself maneuvering space should you need it.

4) Avoiding sandwiches. No, not the snacks. If you are traveling between two trucks, keep in mind that one of the trucks might not see you and if this truck starts to pull into your lane you could be crushed. Be aware of trucks around you and avoid getting caught between two large vehicles.

5) Giving trucks extra room on hills. If you are behind a larger truck on a hill, keep in mind that the truck may move slightly backwards before moving forward. Keep this in mind if you are on a hill behind a truck and need to stop. Give yourself lots of room.

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