Houston, TX- Thousands of people are injured or killed each year in accidents involving large commercial trucks. While there are fewer truck accidents than passenger vehicle accidents, these heavy behemoths can make motorists very nervous. Eighty-percent of truck accidents are caused by the non-commercial motorist, but there are steps a motorist can take to avoid

Always Drive with Caution around Commercial Trucks!

Tractor-trailers, semis and other commercial vehicle are less maneuverable and have more blind spots than passenger vehicles. Stopping such a large and heavy vehicle is difficult and can have deadly consequences if other drivers are not paying attention

Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. or more so they need a far greater distance to stop than your car so it’s important you keep a safe distance between you and the truck. Unless it is totally necessary, you should avoid braking suddenly in front of a large truck. It takes a far longer distance for a truck to stop, and if you slam on your brakes suddenly you could find you are the victim of a serious rear-end crash. When passing a truck you should do so quickly.

If you follow too closely and the truck driver is forced to come to abrupt stop you could easily run into the rear of that large truck and in some cases you can be pushed underneath, which can be deadly.

Be mindful of the trucks blind spot, if they can’t see your vehicle they can suddenly come over into your lane or make other driving maneuvers that can have dire consequences. Pay attention to those notices on trucks warning you of their blind spots. If you can’t see the driver or his/her mirrors chances are they can’t see you either.

Pay attention to the truck driver’s turn signals. If they are turning they may not be able to see you and could turn directly in your path. Don’t rely solely on your lights or horn to let a truck driver know of your presence.

Take extra precautions in adverse weather conditions. Always take not of the road conditions: are they slick because of rain? Are foggy conditions reducing visibility? Is there ice and snow on the roads? If you encounter any of these conditions the most assured way to stay safe is to slow down, only drive at speeds in which you feel in control of your vehicle. If other drivers are traveling faster than you, pull over into the far right lanes when possible. And remember it takes longer for a truck to stop so make certain you have an even greater distance between you and truck in adverse weather.

Don’t get enraged, if your annoyed, irritated or angry at truck driver don’t get overly aggressive. Motorist often get angry if a truck driver is tailgating and may feel the need to retaliate either by braking suddenly or cutting a truck driver off. While this may give allow a way to vent your anger it could have lethal consequences.

You can’t control what other drivers do on the road, but if you drive defensively you can save yourself from a serious truck accident.