Sometimes the open road can be a dangerous place. Tailgating is a danger that we all face when we get behind the wheel of our cars, but for large trucks and tractor trailers, tailgating and road rage are even more dangerous. This is because large trucks can’t stop as quickly as smaller vehicles, which increases the risk of an accident.
In order to avoid this unsafe driving practice, it’s important to be aware of the dangers that tailgating poses. Knowing how to avoid road rage ensures everyone’s safety on the road.
What You Need to Know About Tailgating
A passenger vehicle traveling at 60 mph needs at least 240 feet to come to a safe stop. This is assuming that road conditions are ideal. The first 60 feet involves the driver’s reaction time, which is the time it takes for the driver to realize that he or she needs to stop. The remaining 180 feet is the distance a car needs to safety stop after applying the brakes.
As a commercial truck driver, these numbers don’t apply to you. Oversized vehicles need much more time and space to come to a complete stop. This is because of the sheer weight and momentum of big trucks.
The Dangers of Tailgating
Tailgating is one of the biggest threats to highway safety. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly a quarter of all automobile crashes are rear-end collisions. These accidents result in almost one million injuries and nearly 2,000 deaths each year.
How to Avoid Tailgating
In order to be a safe driver of a big truck, it’s important to know the specifics of how to avoid tailgating. While you can’t control other drivers on the road, you can control your actions that may cause someone to become angered behind the wheel.
1. Keep Your Distance
Anytime you are traveling slower than 40 mph, you should leave a second of distance for every 10 feet of your truck’s width. To determine how many seconds of distance, make note of a landmark and count how many seconds it takes after the car in front of you passes the landmark before you pass it.
As an example, if your truck is 40 feet long, there should be four seconds between your vehicle and the one in front of you. The key here is to keep your distance and ensure you have enough time to suddenly stop if needed.
2. Extend Distance Based on Your Speed
When you’re traveling faster than 40 mph, such as on the highway or an open road, you will want to add an additional second. If you’re driving a 60-foot truck and going 60 mph, you need to leave at least seven seconds between your truck and the vehicle in front of you.
3. Be Aware of Road Conditions
The speed and distance rules above only apply when the roads are completely dry and there’s no decrease in visibility. When it’s raining, snowing, sleeting, or foggy, you will want to increase your driving distance. Wet and slippery roads have less traction, which means it will take even longer for a commercial truck driver to stop his truck.
4. Accelerate Slowly from Stops
While you may be in a rush to get somewhere, rushing on the road is always dangerous. This is especially important during rush hour traffic times. To avoid tailgating the vehicle in front of you, always accelerate slowly from stops. Flooring the gas will more than likely put you too close to the car in front of you.
In addition to practicing safe driving tactics, commercial truck drivers can also improve their safety by having the right truck seats and accessories available to them. Let’s face it; we’ve all been uncomfortable in our vehicles. From having no AC on a hot summer day to having a seat with no support, driving a truck isn’t always as comfortable you’d expect it to be.
When truck drivers are uncomfortable, they’re more likely to grow increasingly frustrated and agitated. This increases the risk of dangerous and rash decisions when behind the wheel.
Thankfully, there are ways to make driving hours and hours a day much more comfortable. With the best semi truck seats from Suburban Seating & Safety, you can have the ergonomic support you need along with plenty of padding and even seats that are cooled and heated.
There are also plenty of truck seat accessories that will make driving safer and more comfortable. Things like mobile device mounts, USB chargers, and dash mats all ensure you can have a comfortable and distraction-free drive.
Place Your Order Today
Suburban Seating & Safety is a trusted provider in the trucking industry. We offer a wide range of truck seats and accessories to ensure commercial truck drivers are safe on the road. We’re proud to be a family-owned business and have been a trusted supplier since 1947.