In many cases, collisions between commercial trucks and cars happen because of inattention on the part of one driver or the other — sometimes both. Because of their lumbering nature, large trucks are slower to react and have longer stopping distances than cars — meaning that personal vehicles might be able to avoid these sorts of accidents due to their ability to react quicker. However, even more accidents might be prevented if drivers of cars take steps to stay out of harm’s way.

One way to do this is to avoid a truck’s blind spots. In general, truck drivers cannot see you if you cannot see the side mirrors of the tractor-trailer. Making sure you are visible can cut down on these sorts of accidents, which account for a large percentage of crashes between cars and large trucks.

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Drivers also need to be wary of trucks making turns. Because of their long stopping distance, trucks must begin the turning procedure fairly early. Also, because of the great length of a trailer, trucks often have to make wide turns in order to negotiate them accurately. This can lead to a car or other small vehicle being trapped in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Source: Road Safe America, “Driver Safety Tips,” retrieved April 18, 2013

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