Tailgating is one of the most common causes of 18 wheeler truck accidents. If you are a commercial truck driver, it is important to maintain a safe following distance to have time to react and avoid dangerous situations.
Unfortunately, many motorists do not understand that a tractor-trailer with a full load requires more time and distance to stop safely than a typical private passenger vehicle. Many will pull in front of a commercial truck and cause unintended semi truck tailgating.
Some simple tips could help you to avoid tailgating accidents while driving your commercial rig.
Adjust the Following Distance to Match Speed
A private passenger car traveling at highway speeds needs about 240 feet to stop safely in good driving conditions. A fully loaded commercial truck requires much more stopping distance.
Instead of a two-second gap between you and a vehicle in front, you should increase it to three or four seconds for additional safety. A good rule of thumb is to add an extra second to your following distance when driving faster than 40 mph.
Pay Attention to Road Conditions
Fast-changing road conditions greatly increase the potential for 18-wheeler truck accidents. Whenever the road surface or visibility worsens, you need to adjust your driving to compensate.
A wet road makes quick maneuvers and emergency stops much harder to perform. A snowy or icy road is even worse, and an oil slick makes stopping virtually impossible.
Semi-truck tailgating often happens when road conditions make it wise to increase following distances, but truckers make no changes. You need to stay aware of changing road conditions and respond accordingly to stay safe.
Avoid Jack Rabbit Starts
Sudden acceleration makes it a lot easier to tailgate with your commercial truck. Even if you are running late, stepping on the gas to accelerate faster will not significantly shorten your travel time. Instead, it might ensure you are late by causing an accident. Accelerating smoothly will help you maintain safe control of your truck while preventing dangerous tailgating.
Make Yourself Comfortable
You cannot drive safely if you are uncomfortable and distracted. You should make sure you are dressed comfortably for the weather and drive so that you can stay alert.
You also should ensure the seat is reasonably comfortable and does not cause distracting pains or discomfort. When you are warm and comfortable while behind the wheel, you stand a much better chance of paying close attention to the road and avoiding any temptation to tailgate other vehicles.
Call for Semi Truck Repairs
Complete Truck Service is your best source for commercial truck repairs and service in Wytheville, VA. You can call (276) 637-4271 for Virginia’s best commercial truck maintenance, repair, and body services.
Categorised in: Trucking Tips
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