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Large trucks are dangerous: Avoid a crash and stay safe

Large trucks travel on the highways every day, and they are a major threat to others on the roads. These large vehicles can be thousands of pounds, and, depending on who is driving, they could be highly dangerous.

Large-truck accidents cause some of the most significant injuries seen in highway collisions. The combination of the heavy weight of the vehicle and the potential for roll-over crashes, multi-vehicle collisions and even chemical spills make them extremely dangerous.

Distractions and negligent acts key causes of crashes

Distractions, drowsiness and other negligent acts are a problem for all drivers, but they're particularly bad in large-truck collisions. In passenger-vehicle collisions with large trucks, it was statistically shown that 31 percent of the passenger-vehicle occupants killed were struck head-on by a truck. Another 25 percent were side-struck. It was only in 22 percent of cases that the passenger vehicle caused a rear-end collision.

What this shows is that the majority of people killed in these crashes are killed as a result of a head-on collision, the most serious of all. In these crashes, both vehicles may be traveling at full-speed, which creates extreme force upon collision.

What can you do to avoid getting into a crash with a large truck?

To avoid getting into a crash, it's best to make sure you're always paying attention. Even if the truck driver makes a mistake, it's possible for others to avoid a collision through quick thinking and maneuvering in some instances.

Another thing you can do is to honk with a short burst if you're not sure that the driver has noticed you. This draws attention, which is what you want.

Other helpful tips for avoiding a truck accident include avoiding traveling in the truck's blind spots (close to the sides and close to the rear of the truck) and giving enough notice before passing in front of a large truck. It is most important to remember that large trucks cannot stop as fast as other vehicles can, so you always need to give them more time to slow down and brake if they are behind you. Failing to do so could result in a rear-end collision as a result of "cutting off" the truck driver.

All drivers can take steps to be safer on the roads. Eliminating distractions, getting enough sleep and avoiding drinking or taking medications that change your driving behaviors are all great tips for staying safe during your travels.

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