Many drivers strike a personal balance between safety and convenience on the road. They know the traffic rules for optimal safety, and they may bend those rules by engaging in certain personal habits.
The decisions that you make while driving can increase your risk of a crash. Even if your habits are safe in most kinds of traffic, they might be dangerous around large commercial trucks.
What habits are particularly risky when close to 18-wheelers?
Tailgating the vehicle in front of you
When traffic doesn’t move as quickly as you would like it to, you may get closer than normal to the rear bumper of the vehicle in front of you.
This habit can be particularly dangerous if the vehicle is a commercial truck, as you may have a hard time seeing their brake lights from very close to the rear end of the vehicle, and you will be in a possible blind spot. You will also not be able to maneuver to get away if the truck driver loses control of the vehicle.
Passing quickly to get around slow-moving vehicles
Weaving in and out of traffic and passing multiple other vehicles can help you get where you need to go quickly.
However, merging in front of or passing a commercial truck is more dangerous than doing the same thing in front of a passenger vehicle. Big trucks take much longer to slow down or stop, so you need to leave at least twice as much space as you usually would between the back of your vehicle and the front of theirs.
Driving more carefully and giving big trucks a little more space can reduce your risk of being the person who causes a commercial crash.