Tips for Sharing the Road with 18-Wheelers

Tips for Sharing the Road with 18-Wheelers

Vehicles of all sizes share the road every day, but when you’re the small car on a road that seems to be packed with 18-wheelers, driving can certainly feel intimidating. The sheer size of 18-wheelers can turn minor accidents into major ones with significant auto body damage, so learning how to safely share the road with these tractor-trailers is essential. Truck drivers get extensive training on sharing the road with smaller cars. Here is what you can do behind the wheel of your car to do your part for safely sharing the road. 

Never Cut Off or Tailgate 18-Wheelers

If you need to get in front of a truck, make sure you have more space than you would give yourself when you’re merging in front of another car. The weight of 18-wheelers means it takes them much longer to slow down, so cutting them off could easily cause them to crash into you. Tailgating a truck is equally dangerous. There is an enormous blind spot for 18-wheeler drivers behind their vehicles, so if you’re close to the truck, they won’t know you are there. Also, debris can fall off the truck or get kicked up by the tires, which could damage your vehicle. 

Pass 18-Wheelers Quickly

Trucks also have large blind spots on either side of their vehicles, so riding next to them can be dangerous. If you need to pass a truck, do so as quickly as you can. Never ride side-by-side with a truck, which leaves you in the blind spot zone. If you can’t get past the truck quickly, slow down so you’re not riding parallel to each other. 

Be Aware of Drifting

It is common for the cargo area of an 18-wheeler to drift, especially if it isn’t carrying a full load and conditions are windy. The drift can carry the back of the truck into the neighboring lane, and the driver will have little ability to control it. Give trucks plenty of room to allow for inevitable drifting, and increase the space you give them in windy weather. 

It is not uncommon to see major body damage after an accident with an 18-wheeler, but National Auto Collision Centers can have your car looking like new again. When you need auto accident repairs in Tucson, no matter the size of the job, call our body shop on Broadway by dialing (520) 760-5536.