Understanding the differences between driving a truck and driving a car.

Understanding the differences between driving a truck and driving a car.

Large trucks do not operate like cars. They are so large that accelerating, slowing down, and stopping takes more time and much more space than any other vehicle on the road. They have large blind spots and make wide turns. They are not as manoeuvrable. If they come upon an unexpected traffic situation, there may not be enough room for them to avoid a collision.

Research reveals that passenger car drivers made mistakes in 70 percent of the fatal crashes involving large trucks.

While everyone is entitled to make a mistake, colliding with a truck could be your last one.

Trucks are important to the economy. They transport products that are critical to life and those that make life a lot more comfortable. However, as a motorist, sharing the road with large trucks can make you feel very uncomfortable.

Protect yourself and your passengers by learning how to share the road safely with large vehicles

5 Ways to Share the Road Safely with Trucks.

Don't Cut In Front of Trucks.

Trucks leave extra room behind the vehicles they follow because it can take them twice as long to stop.

If you move into that space and have to brake suddenly, you cut the truck's available stopping distance in half placing you and your passengers in danger. Anticipate the flow of traffic before pulling in front of trucks.

More than 60 percent of fatal truck crashes involve impacts with the front of the truck. Trucks are not equipped with the same type of energy-absorbing bumpers as cars. When a car is hit from behind by a truck the results are too often deadly.

Stay Out of the "No-Zone."

Watch out for the blind spots, or the No-Zone, around large trucks and buses.

Because of a truck's size, truck drivers must react faster than car drivers in emergency situations. If faced with a potential front-end collision, the truck driver may turn into your lane not knowing you are there. Truck drivers have huge blind spots around the front, back and sides of the truck. So be safe and don't hang out in the No-Zone.

Avoid Tailgating.

Large trucks are almost as wide as your lane of travel. Driving too close behind one prevents you from reacting to changing traffic conditions.

If you are too close to the rear of a truck and there is a slow down on the highway, debris in the road, or a crash, you won't notice it until it is a braking emergency. If there is a problem ahead, your first hint will be the truck's brake lights. But if you happen to be distracted or fatigued, you may not be able to react in time. If you hit the rear of a truck you'll quickly learn that trucks are unforgiving. There are no impact-absorbing bumpers and the metal bumpers they do have may not align with yours. So be smart and give yourself plenty of room.

Wear Your Seat Belt.

Buckling your seat belt is the single most important thing you can do to save your life in a crash.

A seat belt will keep you in your seat and help you maintain control of your vehicle. The safest place for kids is in the backseat, buckled up or in a car seat. So, be safe and always buckle up!  Children under 12 should ideally sit in the back regardless.

Beware of Highway Shoulders.

If you break down or pull over on the highway shoulder, it is important to understand the position you and your passengers are in. When a parked vehicle on a highway shoulder is struck by a moving car, the damage suffered by the parked car is severe. When the moving vehicle is a truck, weighing as much as 25 cars, the result is tragic.

Avoid highway shoulders whenever possible. Try to exit from the highway, even if it costs you a tire or rim. If you cannot exit, consider whether you are safer inside or away from the vehicle. Your decision could save your life.

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