5 Tips for Driving Safely on Busy Trucking Routes Throughout the USA
America’s road network is exceptional, and yet it’s not without its flaws. The main asphalt arteries that connect major cities and states can suffer from being clogged by heavy goods vehicles hauling their loads at slow speeds, for example.
Traveling on these major trucking routes is often unavoidable for other drivers, which isn’t ideal from a safety perspective. With that in mind, let’s talk about steps you can take to reduce the risks you face when sharing the road with trucks.
Keep your distance and be aware of blind spots
The first mistake many motorists make is getting too close to trucks because their size and scale mean that the people behind the wheel are afflicted by blind spots in certain positions.
This is why tailgating a truck is never wise, and why you also have to be on your guard when passing in a lane directly adjacent to them as well.
Staying back also gives you time to react if the truck does something unexpected, like slamming on the brakes to avoid an obstacle. It’s no surprise that almost a tenth of all fatal crashes involves large trucks for this reason.
Can you get compensation if your vehicle is hit by a truck?
Even if you take the aforementioned precautions, it’s impossible to rule out the possibility of your car getting struck by a truck, causing damage and often resulting in injuries.
The good news is that if you get an experienced truck accident lawyer to handle your injury claim, you’ve got a good chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Make sure your car is in tip-top condition
Part of preparing for any road trip is performing some key car maintenance tasks, and generally speaking, it’s better to look after your vehicle well, rather than allow it to fall into disrepair.
Consider things like engine oil, coolant, brake, and power steering fluid, tire pressures, and tread depths, as well as look out for any warning lights on the dash that indicate issues with any safety systems such as airbags.
If you don’t want to do minor maintenance yourself, get a trusted mechanic to handle this for you. This will pay dividends in the long run, not only in terms of keeping you safe when driving on busy trucking routes, but also by avoiding breakdowns.
Use your signals
Applying your turn signal when changing lanes to pass a larger vehicle like a truck is sensible because even if you’re not in a blind spot it’s still possible that the driver might not spot you because their attention is focused on the road ahead.
Leaving your dipped or secondary headlights on, even in daylight, is another way to make yourself more visible. Many modern cars do this by default, but you may need to manually set this on older models.
Keep your cool
Sure, if you’ve got a car that can accelerate much quicker than a truck, and hit a higher top speed on the interstate, then it can be mildly annoying to be held up behind one when traffic is heavy.
However, it’s important to stay patient rather than letting a very minor delay to your journey cloud your judgment.
Take a break
If you do feel frustrated by driving on roads with a lot of trucks around, it’s likely that you’re also tired from many hours behind the wheel.
Pulling over to take a break will let you refuel, let your negative feelings subside, and be good for your safety as well as your state of mind. So with that, you can get back on the road without taking any risks!