Have you ever been tempted to chase a heavy haul trailer down the road? Well, only those wishing to die a sudden death take such risks. People do not realize the situation of many truck drivers.
Most of them have tight schedules that do not allow them to enjoy enough sleep every night. After a full night sleep, you do not want to compete with someone on the road who is half-asleep.
Again, truck drivers usually carry heavy loads. They are under pressure to deliver them on time. While you can steer your car to any direction fast, an 8 car hauler is not easy to maneuver.
A slight mistake will cause a fuel tank trailer to overturn and probably burst into flames. You definitely have seen many overturned trucks with spilled goods on roadsides.
The truth is that if you want to enjoy a long life, you need to stay away from semi-trucks. Read on the learn how to stay safe when around semi-trucks.
- How to stay safe near semi-trucks
You probably notice that most semi-trucks have enough space in front and behind while on the road. A common temptation is to overtake other cars and drive just a few meters ahead of a heavy truck.
Other drivers tend to speed after trucks thinking they will brake on time before hitting the truck. You are probably saying to yourself, I have done this many times before and I am still alive.
You have been lucky but you might not be so lucky in the future. The truth about semi-trucks is that they cover long distances for long hours.
Although carriers service their vehicles, semi-trucks fail easily on the road. The braking system can fail at any time even if the truck driver is careful.
A truck driver may step on the brakes suddenly when there is an obstacle on the road. If you are following the truck, it means you cannot see the road ahead clearly.
You can step on the brakes in your car fast enough to stop just before hitting the truck. However, your mind does not automatically tell you when to slow down.
Before you realize you were to step on the brakes hard, you will be right under the truck. If you were driving just in front of the truck and its brakes fail, it will slum right into your car. It is impossible to survive without serious injuries in such accidents because the trucks are very heavy.
The truck may crash you into the car ahead of you, which could another truck.
The problem is not just driving a few meters ahead or behind a semi-truck. Some people think, well, I can speed right next to a truck. Even if it stops suddenly, I will continue to drive on my lane.
One of the incidents associated with semi-trucks is tire bursts. Sometimes the tires burst and a flying tire at high speed may smash your windscreen.
Well, it may not reach to you but for some minutes, you will not see the road clearly. Sometimes tire bursts are so loud and surprising that you lose control of your car. You never know where a tire will fly off a truck moving at a high speed.
Another danger of driving near trucks is that sometimes the load in transit falls off the trailer. Sometimes carriers make mistakes in packaging and sealing cargo.
Any sudden halt can cause cargo to fall off the trailer and hit your car. The cargo may fall right in front of you and you have no time to maneuver your car. You will either hit the cargo and turn over or hit other cars as you try to change lanes fast.
- Additional tips for different types trailers
The risks involved when driving near trailers depend on the type of trailer. Each trailer carries different types of cargo. Hence, the severity of injuries or damage to your car will also depend on the cargo. Here are some of the risks and safety tips for different types of trailers.
- Chemical tanker trailer
Have you ever seen a chemical tanker before? Most of them have signs on the tanks indicating the type of cargo. A chemical tanker may seem like any other oil or gas tanker on the road.
Such tankers are very common because gas and oil are used in high amounts in all cities. However, driving near chemical tankers especially at a high speed is very risky.
If the truck’s brakes fail or it is forced to suddenly stop, it may hit you car or the car in front of it. The impact sometimes causes the truck to explode.
You will not survive in a situation when highly flammable chemicals are exploding right in front of you.
- Oversized trailer or Low bed trailer
Low bed trailers are very dangerous on the road because they block your view. All you see is the oversized trailer. The situation is worse when the low bed trailer has a huge cargo on it.
Your sight of the road is blocked completely. The safety way to drive is when you can see all obstacles from miles away. Here you are depending on the truck driver’s accuracy.
If the driver sees the obstacle too close, you will hit the low bed trailer. Overtaking the trailer is also difficult because most of them are long. If you must drive behind it, leave enough space as you look for a way to change lanes.
- Car hauler
Some semi-trucks are designed to transport cars from the port to the dealers. The cars are usually packed in stacks such that one trailer carries many cars.
Car haulers like other heavy haulers can fail suddenly on the road. The drivers like other truck drivers are usually tired and sleep deprived. The other danger with car haulers is that the cars sometimes roll off.
This happens when the truck hits an obstacle or stops suddenly. If the stack of cars is too high, the truck can easily lose its balance. You do not want a car to fall on to your car because you are likely to die.
The high stack also blocks your view of the road, which is risky.
- Container trailer
The most common trailers on the road are container trailers. Most goods are transported in bulk in containers. You can get used to these trailers on the road until you are no longer afraid to drive near them.
The truth is that these trailers rank high among dangerous road users. The drivers are always delivering goods because some of them transport perishable products.
Similar to car haulers, the container trailers can lose balance when they are right in front of you or behind you. Containers have been known to fall off and hit the cars nearby.
You will not see another day when a loaded container lands on your small saloon car. In addition, they also block your view and easily lose balance when overtaking other cars.
No matter how experienced or trained you are as a driver, you must learn to stay from semi-trucks. It is the only way to stay alive on the road or at least reduce your chances of a sudden death.
Semi-truck trailers carry extremely heavy loads. Controlling their movements especially when obstacles appear suddenly is difficult. Trailers easily fail especially their braking systems because they are used for long hours and distances.
Another risk associated with trailers is that their tires can burst at any time because of the high pressure. Truck drivers spend long hours of the road.
Some are under high stress while others are sleep-deprived. Most drivers have no time for a properly meal. You do not want to race with such drivers. You are safe when you drive on different lanes or miles away from semi-truck trailers.