If you've been out on the highways and city streets lately you've probably noticed an increase in the number of trucks on the road.
For that, you can thank the holiday season. Online ordering has skyrocketed in recent years during the holidays, which means that more truckers are trying to get those orders to their destinations in time.
The additional stress isn't exactly helpful in a profession that is already ranked eighth on the list of the nation's most dangerous occupations.
If you're sharing the highway with a lot of delivery trucks during your daily commute or when doing a little holiday shopping yourself, follow these tips to ensure your own safety:
1. Avoid being trapped
If you're on the highway, try to avoid being hemmed in on all three sides by large trucks.
You have no way of knowing if each of those trucks has been properly loaded, has been well-maintained mechanically and has a driver that isn't exhausted from being on the road so much.
2. Beware of blind spots
Recognize the fact that all vehicles have "blind spots" where they can't see other cars very easily.
On trucks, these tend to be on the sides near the cab of the truck, a short distance behind the side mirrors (which are better at catching vehicles further back) and directly behind the truck. In fact, many trucks post warnings to drivers that suggest a safe distance for following behind. If you see that warning, take it seriously.
3. Pay attention to the weather
Poor weather conditions like rain, sleet and snow can make the roads slick. That can make it harder for a big truck to break, turn effectively or even stay upright while going around a bend.
If you have to be on the road during foul weather, give big rigs a wide berth. If you have to pass one, make certain that you do it on a clear stretch of straight road and give yourself plenty of clearance before getting back in the right lane.
If you suffer a personal injury in an accident caused by a big rig during this holiday season, consider exploring your legal options before you discuss settlements with any insurance adjusters. A serious accident could have long-term consequences for you and your entire family.
Source: esurance, "truck driving tips: 7 safety rules for a long haul," accessed Dec. 01, 2017