Keeping yourself safe on the road means constantly scanning for danger and trying to predict what other drivers will do. Most people try their best to reduce their risk, but sometimes, you may inadvertently put yourself in a dangerous position through your driving practices.
For example, if you tend to merge and change lanes aggressively on the highway, you may be at higher-than-average risk for a commercial truck crash. The way that you merge could lead to a crash with serious consequences for you as the person in the smaller vehicle.
Big trucks need a lot more space
It takes longer for a semi-truck to change its speed. Both accelerating and slowing down will take more distance than a similar change would require for a smaller vehicle. Commercial drivers usually adjust their speed and following distance to reflect the limitations of the vehicle and the road conditions. However, they can’t always foresee someone else’s maneuvers.
Although you may be able to safely merge in front of a smaller vehicle without leaving much space, merging too close to a commercial truck is a recipe for disaster. Even if the driver slams on the brakes, they may not be able to slow down in time before they reach you. They could drive up and over your vehicle, rendering it a total loss.
This risk is particularly serious if you don’t go faster than the truck behind you after merging in front of it. Giving at least twice as much space as you usually would and speeding up when merging in front of a truck could help you avoid a catastrophic override collision. Identifying common causes for major commercial crashes can help drivers stay safer on the road.