As a driver, you have to make frequent judgment calls in order to keep yourself safe on the road. One of the most critical determinations that you will make is likely judging the danger any individual vehicle poses to you.
You should, clearly, always be on the lookout for erratic driving, such as swerving, failing to maintain speed or drivers otherwise displaying some degree of difficulty in controlling their vehicles. However, you also need to understand that certain vehicles are by nature more dangerous than others.
In general, the larger and heavier a vehicle is, the greater risk it poses to other people. Commercial vehicles, such as semitrucks and 18-wheelers, are substantially larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, which means they can potentially cause critical damage to a smaller vehicle in a crash.
Watch for large vehicles and respect their limitations
An understanding of how handling a commercial vehicle is different from a passenger vehicle can help you stay safer when driving in close proximity to large trucks. The first thing you need to understand is that a bigger and heavier vehicle will need a longer distance to stop fully.
You want to make sure that you never swerve or merge in front of a commercial truck, even if you are merging quickly into another lane. The truck may not be able to adjust the speed before crashing into your rear end.
That massive size also makes it harder for commercial truckers to see what happens on the road around them. Even with large mirrors, commercial trucks still have blind spots. Avoiding the lane directly to the left of the trailer, as well as the two lanes to the right, can help you stay out of the largest blind spots. You should also avoid driving directly in front of or behind commercial truck for the same reason.
Think about commercial trucks if you stop on a busy road
Maybe you're responding to a minor collision or an issue with your vehicle that requires you to pull over to the side of the road. Regardless of why you have to stop your vehicle, you should try to get as far off of the road as possible. If there is a turn or a blind spot near you, it is particularly important that you give as much space between the edge of the road and your vehicle.
Other drivers may not be able to stop in time without crashing into your vehicle or swerving into another lane of traffic. Commercial trucks particularly pose a risk, as their large size makes it difficult for their drivers to quickly maneuver away from an obstacle.
Taking these and other simple steps to reduce your likelihood of a crash with a truck can help you and your loved ones. However, you could still find yourself dealing with the catastrophic property damage and injuries that come with a commercial truck accident in South Carolina. In that scenario, you should learn more about your rights to better assert them.