Our hearts go out to everyone who lost someone in the tragic tanker accident that claimed lives and left many injured in Lagos few weeks ago. Large trucks and buses are known to drive recklessly on Lagos highways. The efforts of law enforcement agencies have not dissuaded them from acting out of order. Their dangerous and heedless driving have led to lots of losses.
Fortunately, you can take simple actions to avoid any contact with these ‘death trucks’:
Do not drive in a blind spot
Large trucks and buses have huge blind spots around the front, back, and sides of the vehicle. If you can’t see the driver in the truck’s side mirror, assume that the driver can’t see you. Don’t drive in a blind spot – slow down or move ahead to stay visible. Be particularly careful when emerging near a truck or bus. You may likely be in a blind spot.
Make sure you can see the driver in the mirror before passing. Signal clearly then move into the left lane and accelerate so that you can get past the truck or bus safely and promptly. Don’t linger in the blind spot. Make sure the truck or bus is visible in your rear view mirror before you pull in front; give it extra space. Also, never pass from the right lane.
Tailgating a truck presents added dangers. First, it puts you in a blind spot. Because trucks are so high off the ground, if you fail to stop in time or get hit from behind, your vehicle could slide under the truck. Getting too close when stopped is also dangerous.
Anticipate wide turns
Trucks require extra turning room – they swing wide, or may even initiate a turn from a middle (rather than far right) lane. If a truck has its turn signal on, never try to squeeze by it or get between the vehicle and the curb.
Trucks and buses have operating restrictions, and sometimes use technology like speed limiters. Honking, driving aggressively, or weaving through traffic won’t make the trip faster, but can cause dangerous distractions and crashes. Also, no matter how in a hurry you may be, avoid driving alongside a truck.
Never forget to buckle up
Wearing your seat belt is one of the most important things that you and your passengers can do to save your lives. A seatbelt may keep you in your seat and help you maintain control of your vehicle.
If you need to attend to a text, a call or an app, get off the road and stop driving. Driving distracted can be as dangerous. Even eating while driving or adjusting your radio can take your eyes off the road long enough for a crash to occur. Don’t underestimate the speed of a truck or bus particularly when making turns, merging, or changing lanes.
Don’t drive tired
Take regular breaks, get another driver to relieve you, or get off the road and find a safe place to rest.
Never drive under the influence
Alcohol and other drugs impair both judgment and reaction time. There is no safe limit for drinking before driving. Many prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs cause dizziness or sleepiness and can slow reaction time. If your medication carries a warning, take it seriously and have someone else drive or find another way to your destination.
We hope these tips can save someone’s life. Stay safe!