Thursday, October 10, 2013
When you’re sharing the road Size matters
Semis, 18-wheelers, extra-long buses, RVs and towed trailers — big rigs of all kinds are everywhere. If you’re not aware of their limitations, sharing the road with these large vehicles can be dangerous. They typically don’t have the same stop-and-go capabilities as passenger cars, and considering their height and weight, they can inflict serious damage to smaller vehicles and their passengers — not to mention pedestrians. Here are some driving tips that may help you be smarter about sharing the road with a big rig:
“No-Zones” are a no-no — Never stay in any of the four blind spots or No-Zones along each of the four sides of a truck. Never drive directly behind or on the right side of a truck where the driver can’t see you. If you’re driving on the left side of a truck, keep in mind that if you can’t see the driver’s side view mirror, then you’re in a blind spot. If you can’t see the mirror, the driver can’t see you! If you can see the mirror, try to make eye contact with the driver. Once you’ve overtaken a truck, never get in front of it unless you can see the entire front of the truck in your rear view mirror.1
Cut-offs and exit ramps — Don’t jump in front of a big rig and then brake to make a turn or exit. They typically take as much as three times the distance to stop as the average passenger car — don’t risk your life by cutting a truck off and then slowing down in front of it.2
Avoid a “squeeze play” — In order to negotiate a right turn, particularly in urban areas, truck drivers sometimes swing wide to the left. They can’t see directly behind or beside their vehicle so don’t create a “squeeze” by cutting between the truck and the curb. Pay attention to truck signals and give them plenty of room to maneuver.3
As you share the roads and highways with trucks, buses and large hauling vehicles, be smart about what you do: Be attentive and stay focused. And remember, the more you know about insurance the better you can plan. Make sure you have the auto coverage you want should the unexpected and unintended occur. Get smarter about insurance — let’s have a conversation.