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Tips to prevent 18-wheeler crashes

Have you ever been driving down a three-lane highway and found yourself sandwiched between two semitrucks? It's frightening to get stuck between two 18-wheelers like that, and you probably drove as quickly out of that hole as you possibly could -- and with good reason. Collisions are often catastrophic and fatal when they happen between a passenger car and a big rig.

Keeping the dangers of semitrucks in mind, here are a few tips that every Benton driver should keep in mind:

  • Don't pass a semitruck on its right side. Almost every 18-wheeler has a massive blind spot about halfway back on its right side. Lingering in this zone for any length of time can be catastrophic and fatal if the semitruck decides to move back over to the right lane. As such, it's best not to ever pass a semitruck on the right side. Rather, you should wait for it to move back over and pass it on the left.
  • Move slowly and don't do sudden maneuvers around a semitruck. Eighteen-wheelers are slow and lumbering behemoths. As such, when you're driving around a semitruck, you should mimic their behavior. Drive slowly and deliberately, and give them plenty of space so they can react to your movements.
  • Let the semitruck pass you if it needs to. Drivers can get into weird games of cat and mouse with one another as their jockeying for position. But this is dangerous, and what does it gain? Perhaps you'll arrive at your destination five minutes faster, but is it worth the risk? Especially if it's a semitruck, just let it pass.

Remember that old joke, where does an 800-pound gorilla sit? The answer is: anywhere it wants. Follow that rule of thumb whenever you're dealing with a semitruck on the road. Give it space, give it respect and most importantly, be careful! It's exponentially preferred to avoid getting into an 18-wheeler accident than getting catastrophically hurt and needing to pursue a personal injury claim for damages in court.

Source: topspeedracer.com, "Avoiding truck accidents," Deborah C., accessed Sep. 21, 2017

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