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Brushing up on driving safety around large trucks

It is always dangerous for motorists to drive near large commercial trucks. However, it is especially dangerous to drive around these vehicles when the weather is poor. Given that you and your family may be driving in stormy or hazardous weather conditions as the holidays approach and the colder months progress in earnest, it is important to review basic safety tips designed to prevent truck accidents involving cars, light trucks, vans, SUVs and motorcycles.

It is critical that you respect just how dangerous large commercial vehicles can be. Studies indicate that the majority of accidents involving both large commercial vehicles and any of the other vehicle types noted above are caused by non-truckers. This means that more of these types of accidents are caused by motorists than by the drivers of large trucks. Respecting the dangers that large trucks pose can help you avoid preventable accidents.

Truck drivers have wider blind spots than motorists do. As a result, it is important to maintain enough distance behind these vehicles. If you can see a truck's side mirrors, the truck's driver can see you. Do not tailgate large trucks and do not cut in front of them. Truck drivers will inevitably take longer to brake and to accelerate than motorists of smaller vehicles will. If you tailgate or cut in front of one of these large vehicles, you heighten your risk for causing an accident.

Finally, do not speed around large trucks for these same reasons. Drive safely and defensively in order to be better positioned to respond to unforeseen hazards.

Source: American Trucking Associations, "Professional Drivers to Educate New Virginia Drivers on Truck Safety," Sep. 16, 2014

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