Whether you are driving in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, the panhandle or another part of the state, you know semi-trucks are common on Oklahoma’s roadways. That’s a good thing, as commercial trucks transport the goods that keep the economy moving forward.
A semi with a full trailer may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Your vehicle, by contrast, probably weighs between 4,000 and 8,000 pounds. You do not need a degree in physics to realize that a collision with an 18-wheeler could destroy your vehicle and seriously injure you. Therefore, you may want to keep the following four tips in mind to avoid an accident with an large truck you're sharing the road with.
Never pass on their right
Truckers know they should remain in the right ("slow) lane, to the extent possible. But sometimes, they have to pull into a left lane to pass. When they do, most try to return to the right as soon as possible. They won't be expecting a car to be passing them on that side. It is a good idea NEVER to pass any vehicle on the right, but especially so with trucks.
Keeping sufficient space between your vehicle and a semitruck can be difficult on crowded highways. Still, you must remember that certain areas around commercial trucks are dangerous places. Specifically, try to avoid driving on either side of an 18-wheeler. If you need to pass, do so quickly. Also, note that semitrucks usually cannot stop as quickly as passenger vehicles. Cutting off commercial trucks or stopping rapidly in front of them may be risky.
Avoid blind spots
When you are on the road, keep an eye out for mirrors on commercial trucks. Generally, if you can't see the driver in the truck’s mirrors, he or she cannot see you, either.
Turn on your lights
Rain, fog and snow can move into Oklahoma quickly. During inclement weather, truck drivers may have a difficult time seeing your vehicle. To increase the chances that a truck driver can see you, turn on your headlights.
Watch for turns
You probably do not have much difficulty turning your vehicle. The same is not true for semitrucks, however. On the contrary, truck drivers must often execute slow or wide turns. Accordingly, you must avoid distracted driving and watch for turn signals. Also, never try to pass a turning semitruck.
If you sustain an injury in a collision with a commercial truck, your life may never be the same again. Fortunately, you can decrease your odds of an accident by driving cautiously. By understanding how to avoid a collision with a semitruck, you keep both yourself and your vehicle safe on Oklahoma’s roadways.