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Staying safe around buses and big trucks: 3 things to know

If you are uncomfortable on the road when big trucks or buses are in proximity, you are not alone. The sheer size of these vehicles, and the severity of the crashes they can cause, are naturally a matter of concern.

Here are three things to be aware of as you try to stay safe.

Blind spots are a problem for large commercial vehicles.

Blind spots behind buses and big trucks are called No Zones. Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) have these zones not only behind them, but also in front and on the sides.

It may seem a bit surprisingly blind spots in front. But the driver in a large truck or bus generally sits quite high above the road. As a result, there is indeed a significant blind spot in front.

The rule of thumb is that if you can't see the driver of the CMV near you in that driver's side mirror, then that driver can't see you either. This means that if you notice yourself heading into a blind spot, it makes sense to either accelerate to get past the CMV or to slow down to let the CMV get ahead of you.

Stopping distances for large vehicles are longer than for cars and limits on maneuverability affect turns.

Because they are so large, CMVs take much longer to stop and aren't able to turn at angles that are as sharp as smaller vehicles.

When you come near a CMV in traffic, it's important to factor in these limits on maneuverability and stopping distance.

The number of fatal motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks has gone up recently.

Nationally, the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks went up in 2016 to 4,317. This was an increase of more than 5 percent from the year before and the highest number in nearly a decade.

The overall number of fatal motor vehicle accidents also went up, to more than 37,000. The exact number was 37,461. The number in Texas was 3,407, or nearly 10 percent of the national total.

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San Antonio, TX 78201

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