From sanitation trucks to semi-trailers, oversize vehicles are common on New York City roadways. Unfortunately, these large vehicles often pose serious safety risks for motorists in smaller autos.
According to the NYC Department of Motor Vehicles, in four out of five collisions that involve a fatal collision with a big truck, it is the driver in the smaller vehicle that perishes. That makes it essential that motorists take special care when driving near oversize commercial vehicles.
1. Remember that large vehicles take longer to stop
It takes an average of 193 feet for a passenger car moving at 55 miles per hour to come to a complete stop. By contrast, it may take a semi-tractor unit as much as 430 feet to stop when moving at the same speed.
Motorists in passenger vehicles should make sure to leave plenty of space when driving in front of or behind a large truck. Drivers should also avoid making sudden moves and indicate turns or lane changes early.
2. Know that oversize trucks may need more room to maneuver
Oversize vehicles take more time and space to make the same movements as cars. In addition to longer braking and acceleration times, large trucks usually need to swing wide to make a turn, often taking up multiple lanes in the process.
Drivers should always pay close attention to active turn signals on large vehicles so they can give the truck ample room to turn safely. It is also a good idea to avoid traveling alongside or passing oversize trucks unless there is plenty of time and space to complete the maneuver.
3. Be mindful of significant blind spots
The longer and larger a vehicle, the deeper the blind spots. Oversize trucks, buses and tractors may have significant blind spots on both sides as well as directly in front of and behind the vehicle. Motorists in smaller autos should make sure to avoid maintaining a position where the driver of a large truck may not be able to see them.