Staying Safe Around 18-Wheelers
It is good to be extra cautious around big trucks or 18-wheelers. This is not to say that the drivers of these big trucks are reckless drivers. Drivers of these trucks are performing a duty but happen to be driving a vehicle that is responsible for almost 20% of vehicle-related deaths.
Length of the 18-Wheeler
The length of an 18-wheeler covers several cars, allowing construction site areas to be a much bigger hazard. Often a driver may end up between a temporary wall of a construction zone or highway and find him or herself next to an 18-wheeler. The 18-wheeler in this scenario becomes an opposite wall, and limits the degrees of steering for the driver.
The length of an 18-wheeler also provides a smaller blind spot than with most vehicles, meaning lower visibility for drivers on the opposite lane. For this reason it is in a driver’s best interest to stay clear from the blind spot of an 18-wheeler.
Mass of an 18-Wheeler
The mass and momentum of an 18-wheeler is a hazard in itself due to the amount of power required to stop it once it is in motion. When the driver of an 18-wheeler tailgates another person, he or she drastically minimizes the amount of time needed to stop the vehicle.
The cargo or trailer also has enough weight to swing in the back of an 18-wheeler during abrupt braking. This is also known as jackknifing. This can immobilize an 18-wheeler and create a potentially deadly wall in the middle of the road for other drivers.