On your local news program, you may hear stories about an “out of control” truck wiping out a car load of people or destroying property. The media sensationalizes the facts, often putting most of the blame with the truckers. However, many times that is not the case. For the most part, truckers are responsible drivers who are diligent about road safety. Not only are they making sure they adhere to the rules of the road, but they also have to keep an eye on the nincompoop drivers of passenger vehicles who think they are the exception to the rules.
There are a few common problems that truckers come across with motorists. These problems are often also the ones most sited on insurance claims. Are you guilty of any of these practices?:
1. Brake this habit – Everyone at one point or another gets stuck behind a large truck. So the most logical next step is to change lanes to pass the truck. No problems with that … the problem lies in a vehicle cutting back into the truck’s lane right in front of them, then braking for a turn or just slowing down, period. What most motorists don’t take into account is that truckers need a lot of space in order to slow down, at least two to three times the amount of passenger vehicles.
2. Peek-a-boo! – Now you see them, now you don’t. This peek-a-boo game is very troublesome to truckers. Large trucks have several blind spots which make it hard for the drivers to see other motorists who like to hang out there. The best thing that you can do is either pass the truck or stay a comfortable distance behind them. When in doubt, check for the trucker’s side view mirrors. If you can see them, then chances are that they might be able to see you too.
3. Back up and try again – In this day and age of technology, people are more accustomed to instant results and hate waiting for anything. Unfortunately, when big trucks have to back into a space, it may take a few tries to succeed. Motorists should appreciate the fact that these trucks are bigger than they are and let the truckers do their job. Patience can be a virtue!
4. Teach a lesson – Some drivers of passenger vehicles like to try and “teach” truckers a lesson. Sometimes, drivers think that the big trucks are either going too fast or slow. So they’ll speed up to pass the trucker, then get back in the trucker’s lane and slow down! Many parents tell their kids, “Worry about yourself,” and it would be smart for other motorists to heed that advice. Leave it to the troopers and policemen to enforce the laws of the road.
Common sense is what all these problems boil down to. Each person driving on the road is in charge of themselves. By exercising a little of that common sense, many accidents involving big trucks and passenger vehicles could be avoided. That old adage, “It is better to be safe than sorry,” certainly applies!