Safety Tips for Car Drivers
on the highway you are at a serious disadvantage if involved
in a crash with a larger vehicle. In crashes involving large
trucks, the occupants of a car, usually the driver, sustain
78 percent of fatalities. In order to keep you and your family
safe when driving around large trucks and buses, you should
be extra cautious. Sharing the road with larger vehicles can
be dangerous if you are not aware of their limitations. Here
are a few tips to help you drive safer to prevent an accident
and minimize injuries and fatalities if one does occur.
CUTTING IN FRONT CAN CUT YOUR LIFE SHORT
If you cut in front of another vehicle, you may create an
emergency-braking situation for the vehicles around you, especially
in heavy traffic. Trucks and buses take much longer to stop
in comparison to cars. If you force a larger vehicle to stop
quickly this could cause a serious, even fatal accident. When
passing, look for the front of the truck in your rear-view mirror
before pulling in front and avoid braking situations!
BUCKLE YOUR BELTS
Always buckle your seat belt. Seat belts are your best protection
in case of a crash, especially if you get into an accident with
a large vehicle such as a truck. Trucks require a greater stopping
distance and can seriously hurt you if your car is struck from
behind. However, your seat belt will keep you from striking
the steering wheel or windshield, being thrown around, and from
being ejected from the car. Wearing a seat belt is the single
most important thing you can do to save your life, especially
in a crash with a large truck.
WATCH YOUR BLIND SPOTS - THE "NO-ZONES"
Large trucks have blind spots, or No-Zones, around the front,
back and sides of the truck. Watch out! A truck could even turn
into you, because these No-Zones make it difficult for the driver
to see. So, don't hang out in the No-Zones, and remember, if
you can't see the truck driver in the truck's mirror, the truck
driver can't see you.
Inattentive drivers do not pay attention to driving or what
is going on around them. They can be just as dangerous as aggressive
drivers when they drive slowly in the passing lane, ignore trucks
brake lights or signals, and create an emergency-braking situation.
They also create dangerous situations when they attempt to do
other things while driving, such as using cell phones. When
you are driving, please focus only on the road. If you need
to attend to another matter while driving, safely pull over
in a parking lot or rest stop.
Aggressive drivers can be dangerous drivers. They put themselves
and others at risk with their unsafe driving. Speeding, running
red lights and stop signs, pulling in front of trucks too quickly
when passing, and making frequent lane changes, especially in
the blind spots of trucks, can create dangerous and potentially
fatal situations on the road. These situations can lead to road
rage not only for the aggressive driver, but also for others
sharing the road.
AVOID SQUEEZE PLAY
Be careful of trucks making wide right turns. If you try
to get in between the truck and the curb, you'll be caught in
a "squeeze" and can suffer a serious accident. Truck drivers
sometimes need to swing wide to the left in order to safely
negotiate a right turn especially in urban areas. They can't
see cars directly behind or beside them. Cutting in between
the truck and the curb increases the possibility of a crash.
So pay attention to truck signals, and give them lots of room
NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE
Drinking and driving don't mix. Alcohol affects a person's
ability to make crucial driving decisions, such as braking,
steering, or changing lanes. Remember, you are not the only
one in danger when you decide to drink and then drive. You are
sharing the road with everyone including large vehicles and
your chances of getting into an accident are greatly increased.
If you get into an accident with a truck, you're out of luck.
The odds of surviving a serious accident with a large truck
are too low. However, if you do live through it without serious
injury, think of your higher insurance rates, your large legal
fees, and other social and professional setbacks it will cause
you. So think before you drink.