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18 wheelers: Driving Facts and Accident Prevention

By Edited Oct 28, 2015 0 0

Trucks are essentials in businesses when it comes to shipping and cargo loading. These vehicles can carry great amount of products for ground delivery. And compared to other means of delivery, trucking is cheaper. That's why even if there are faster alternatives for shipping, some companies still opt to get trucks for their business.

An 18-wheeler truck is a type of cargo truck often used for delivery. These trucks weigh up to almost 80,000 pounds or 40 tons, are 70 to 80 feet long, and are 13.6 feet tall. Because of its size, trucks need greater engine power to run. And compared to other vehicles, 18-wheeler trucks are definitely far more superior in size and power.

However, these characteristics also make 18-wheeler trucks a threat to safety on the road. Every year, more than 500,000 truck accidents are recorded. The US Department of Transportation estimated that 5,000 of those are fatal 18-wheeler accidents. There are 131,000 people who suffered injuries from such accidents too.

Aside from the size of the truck, the attitude of truck drivers may also contribute to the accident. Due to long hours of driving, truck drivers are prone to getting dizzy or feeling sleepy while behind the wheel. Sleep deprivation or poor health condition alters the senses, which may lead to driving impairment.

Truck drivers also have a blind spots or "no-zones" which are areas that the drivers cannot see. These blind spots are the left rear quarter, right rear quarter, and the area directly behind the truck. Aside from that, truck drivers who have no regard for laws, who fail to check their machines, and those who are easily distracted also contribute to the dangers of 18-wheeler trucks.

For the other motorists on the road, there are some precautionary steps to take to avoid getting into trouble with 18-wheeler trucks. Maintain a safe distance away from the truck. Roughly 20 to 25 car lengths in front or back is enough. That way, the driver's blind spot will also be avoided. But most importantly, all drivers must comply with the laws of traffic. Following simple rules like putting on a seat belt or not going beyond the speed limit makes a lot of difference.

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