4 Truck Driving Tips

Driving a truck, be it a rental U-Haul or a commercial truck used to transport cargo, differs greatly from driving a car. Operating a truck comes with a number of challenges that require a heightened level of awareness, skill, and responsibility. In this article, we will explore four helpful tips to keep in mind when driving a truck to help avoid a catastrophic mistake.

Drive Slowly

When it comes to driving a truck, it is important that you watch your speed. Trucks typically have a slower posted speed limit than the average motor vehicle and are expected to drive in the far right-hand side lanes of the road. Driving slowly in a truck is particularly important since trucks take 40% longer to a complete stop due to their weight and size. Therefore, avoid speeding or driving even slightly above the speed limit.

Be Aware of Blind Spots

The next thing that you should be aware of if you are driving a truck for the first time is that trucks have larger-than-average blind spots than the average vehicle. These blind spots, often regarded as “no-zones,” essentially stretch the whole perimeter of the truck.

More specifically, these blind spots are found 20 feet in front, 30 feet behind, one lane to the left, and two to three lanes to the right. Although other drivers have a duty to try and avoid riding in these blind spots, truck drivers must also do their part to be cautious and constantly aware of who may be driving around them. 

Maintain a Safe Distance

Another important tip to adopt when driving a truck is to maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. As mentioned earlier, trucks take a considerably greater amount of time to come to a stop, meaning that a greater distance between vehicles must be sustained.

According to a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that analyzed the causes of large truck crashes, following another vehicle too closely accounted for 5% of all truck accidents. Thus, if you are driving a truck make sure to leave ample distance between you and the car in front of you.

Turn With Caution

The last thing to keep in mind when driving a truck is to make turns with extreme caution. Since trucks have a higher center of gravity than other vehicles, this makes it very easy for them to tip and roll over.

Turns become even more dangerous if you are also pulling a trailer behind you. Therefore, if you are making a turn with your truck, proceed slowly, check your mirrors for any other vehicles, turn on your blinkers, and give yourself at least 100 to 200 feet of extra space to complete the turn.

Drive Safely!

Next time you find yourself behind the wheel of a truck, be sure to keep in mind these four important driving tips to help ensure a safe right. Failure to do so may result in a truck accident, which oftentimes results in serious injury and even death. In the event that you are injured in a truck accident, be sure to contact an 18-wheeler accident attorney in San Antonio who can help you file a truck accident claim and recover compensation.


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