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Safety matters when you are on the road with semitrucks

Semitruck drivers must drive in a safe manner when they are on the roadways, but the safety of everyone around them doesn't depend just on the trucker. Other drivers on the road can have a direct impact on safety.

It is imperative that all drivers pay close attention to what is going on when they drive. There are some special considerations to think about when you are near 18-wheelers:

Leave the big rig enough room

Semitrucks need room to maneuver, especially when they have a trailer attached. Other drivers must respect this need because failing to do so could force a trucker to make a decision about which accident will be less serious. Not only do you need to give the trucker room to stop and turn, you also need to give him or her time to accelerate. These trucks have more gears than a regular vehicle and it takes time to work through all of them. This is even more of an issue if the trailer is fully loaded or if the load is unstable, such as if the rig is pulling a tanker trailer.

Don't cut the 18-wheeler off

People assume that they can zip in front of a semitruck just as they would any other vehicle. This can actually be a deadly decision since these large rigs can't stop on a dime. Whether a driver needs to get to an exit quickly or is trying to zigzag through a traffic jam, he or she needs to carefully weigh the options if near a semitruck. A car cutting off an 18-wheeler could lead to an accident that involves that truck and other vehicles without ever touching the vehicle that whipped in front of the truck.

Anticipate turns

When driving around semis, especially in the city, you should anticipate that the truck is going to turn. On the narrower streets, truckers might have to go wide left in order to turn right. Of course, they should use a turn signal, but it is usually a good idea to anticipate that the trucker will turn right if the rig veers to the left. This might save you from being pinned on the right side of the truck.

Take your time and stay alert

All drivers, regardless of the type of vehicle they are driving, should be alert and sober when they drive. Trying to rush around and driving aggressively can almost guarantee an accident. It is also a good idea to stay away from drivers who are driving in an unsafe manner.

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