Winter roads call for extra attention by everyone on the road. Low vision conditions, icy windshields, and icy roads can quickly make a bad situation worse. While most drives are able to adjust for these new obstacles in the winter, they may overlook the safety measures they need to take around semi-trucks.
Despite how large these vehicles are, hundreds of thousands of people get into accidents with them every year. One of the best ways to avoid these accidents in the winter is by giving these trucks extra space on the road.
Extra distance benefits everyone
If you are not sure where you should be when you are driving around a commercial vehicle, you are not alone. No side of a truck is entirely safe to drive near, so here is what you should know about each side:
- Front – a truck driver cannot see most vehicles within 20 feet of the front of the truck. Being this close to the front also means that the truck will likely not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting you if the roads are icy. This type of rear-end collision can result in crushing a vehicle.
- Left side – the truck driver cannot see most vehicles within the front half of the lane to their left. If a diver cannot see you, they may try to turn into your lane and not be able to correct themselves in time because of the poor weather conditions.
- Right side – As for the other side of the truck, it is common for drivers not to be able to see anyone in the entire lane immediately to their right. In winter, this can mean that a driver might not see you and push you into the ditch, burying you in the snow and leaving you unable to get out.
- Rear – the rear of the vehicle may be the more underestimated in terms of danger. The tailgate of these vehicles can be fatal for passenger vehicle drivers in even minor crashes. The height of the truck’s rear is right at head level for many drivers, and colliding with it can cause catastrophic injuries. When the roads are unsafe in the winter, you need to give yourself extra space from the truck to ensure you do not accidentally collide with the truck in an emergency.
No matter where you are in relation to a truck during the winter, do yourself a favor and add at least an extra 20 feet between you and the truck. Driving a bit slower with a little extra precaution can help you ensure you get to enjoy many more winters in the future.