A loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. If an 18-wheeler hits you while you are walking or biking, you can sustain catastrophic injuries from which you may never fully recover. Since the odds are against you due to the truck’s hard body and massive weight, it is more advantageous for you to avoid a collision in the first place.
There are general safety tips that apply to everyone sharing the road with trucks, motorists as well as cyclists and pedestrians. These include anticipating wide turns and long stopping distances, as well as staying out of the truck’s many blind spots. However, there are also specific things you can do as a pedestrian or a bicyclist to decrease your risk for a collision with a large truck or at least minimize your chance of serious injury.
Tips for pedestrians
Keep a safe distance away from large vehicles as much as possible. This is especially true of trucks that carry wide loads because these make maneuvering even more difficult for the driver and limit his or her visibility even further. Take particular care in parking lots where trucks may need to back up.
On most city streets, there are safe places available for pedestrians to walk. These include sidewalks and crosswalks. Stay in these areas as much as possible. When waiting to cross at an intersection, stay a little back from the corner and avoid standing in the street.
Tips for bicyclists
It is easier to stop a bicycle quickly than it is to stop a large vehicle such as a truck or bus. Therefore, it may fall to you to stop your bike to avoid a collision. You should check your brakes before every ride to be sure they are functioning properly. During your ride, stay aware of traffic so that you can deploy the brakes suddenly if necessary.
A helmet will not prevent an accident, but it can help protect you from traumatic brain injury if a large vehicle hits you. Choose a helmet that fits well, adjust it properly and wear it every time you ride your bike.