Safety Tips for Passenger Vehicles Driving Around 18 Wheelers


In 2019, 4,119 deaths were caused by 18 wheeler accidents in the United States.

Many of these accidents were caused by passenger vehicles with little knowledge or experience driving around an 18 wheeler.

Educating yourself about this type of driving can prevent deadly interactions each day.

Keep reading to learn some important safety tips for passenger vehicles today!

1. No Distracted Driving

In today’s society, distracted driving has become a significant issue. Not only is it a huge safety concern, but it also causes many car accident injuries every day.

Distracted driving can come in many forms, including texting, eating, talking on the phone, etc. When you’re driving distracted around big trucks, the dynamic can become deadly in less than a second. Your full attention is needed to prevent a truck accident, depending on the situation.

2. Do Not Tailgate

Many people don’t realize how dangerous it is to tailgate an 18 wheeler. Tailgating is a bad idea for multiple reasons and can cause a severe car accident.

Firstly, you need to give the big truck room since they are much larger than the average vehicle. Extra space ensures their safety and yours, giving you both more time to react.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that big trucks can often throw up lots of debris they run over. If you’re tailgating them, this usually means your vehicle will be hit.

3. Never Cut Them Off

Many accidents are caused by passenger vehicles cutting off 18 wheelers. No matter how big of a hurry you’re in, never cut off a big truck. The danger associated with this action often results in death.

Remember, 18 wheelers are very large and are usually hauling large loads. This considerable weight means it takes a lot longer for them to come to a stop. If they’re unable to stop, they will most likely have to plow through whatever is in front of them, including you.

4. Avoid Side by Side Driving

Driving directly next to a big rig can cause unnecessary problems for you. Again, 18 wheelers can kick up a variety of debris that can hit your car and cause an accident.

Additionally, big trucks have blind spots on both sides, which could cause you to be side-swiped or run off the road. If you’re ever involved in an accident of this kind, it’s essential to know what to do after the collision to ensure your safety.

5. Pass Quickly

As previously mentioned, big trucks have blind spots in multiple locations. These blindspots should always be a reminder to pass quickly and safely. This will ensure the 18 wheeler driver can see your vehicle sooner, and you can get out of their way.

6. Use Caution on Mountains

If you ever find yourself in a mountainous setting, remember to stay in your lane as best you can. Often, mountain roads are windy and narrow, making driving conditions dangerous.

Since big rigs may still be on these roads, try to give them as much room as possible. This will create space for you and allow them to maneuver their trailers easier.

7. Give Space for Turns

Eighteen-wheelers are much longer than an average passenger vehicle, meaning they need more room to turn. They often need enough room to swing out in order to maneuver their trailer for the turn.

To help big rig drivers, always give them optimal room and stay out of their way as best as possible. If you see their turn signal, slow down and allow them to turn as needed.

8. Right of Way

When you’re in a driving scenario with an 18 wheeler, it’s always best to give them the right of way. This will help them move out of your way and allow you to have a safer interaction. Many truck drivers appreciate this act of courtesy.

9. Wear Your Seatbelt

Each time you get behind the wheel, you should be wearing your seatbelt. This gives you the most protection if you’re ever involved in a serious accident.

Often, accidents with 18 wheelers are severe and life-threatening. Therefore, it’s imperative that you wear your seatbelt to give you the best chances of survival.

10. Communicate

Driving requires communication between drivers to ensure danger is at a minimum. Communication is key when it comes to passenger vehicles and 18 wheelers. Big rigs will usually always use turn signals to tell you their intentions.

You should be communicating with big trucks as well to let them know what you’re doing. This signaling gives them time to react and make adjustments as needed.

11. Anticipate Drifting

Big trucks are large and sometimes hard to maintain in a straight path. Many factors contribute to 18 wheelers drifting from their lanes. Depending on the situation, this drifting can sometimes be out of their control.

High winds can push trailers out of their lanes with little to no control. Other factors can include debris, uneven roads, or poor weather conditions. These factors are why you should always anticipate drifting and pass quickly.

12. Stay Alert

When traveling around 18 wheelers, the biggest tip is to stay alert. Anything can happen at any time, and being alert can save you from a harmful situation. You’ll have more time to safely react and avoid accidents overall.

Tips for Passenger Vehicles Driving Around 18 Wheelers

Each of these tips for passenger vehicles will help you become a better driver overall.

You’ll soon be prepared for many different driving scenarios and be more confident on the road.

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