Afraid of Driving Close to Heavy Vehicles: Here’s How to Get Better
Alright, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of a fear many of us secretly harbor – cruising close to those colossal, heavy vehicles. There’s no shame in admitting it. We’ve all had that nervous moment sharing the road with a mammoth truck, and this fear is not without cause.
According to a report by Forbes Advisor, there were over 523,796 accidents involving large trucks in 2021. That’s a lot of unfortunate mishaps. Sadly, many of these accidents are fatal or have life-changing consequences.
So, why does the idea of driving near these beasts make our palms sweat? It’s like David facing Goliath, right? Understanding these heavy vehicles is like knowing your opponent in a chess game.
By the end of this article, you will know all that you need to feel more confident to calmly drive and maneuver around heavy vehicles.
Table of Contents
Why Are People Afraid of Heavy Vehicles?
One of the primary reasons behind the fear of heavy vehicles is the stark size disparity between the average car and these colossal machines. Some might even argue that the sheer sight of a massive truck in the rearview mirror triggers a primal fear response. After all, it can feel like you are facing a larger, more powerful opponent.
Putting aside such psychological barriers, there are indeed a number of real issues that warrant some apprehension. For instance, accidents involving trucks are no laughing matter. Due to their weight and size, they can have severe consequences.
In many cases, your vehicle can be completely crushed, and if you survive, you have to deal with the nightmare of finding compensation. This can be a long and arduous task, especially if the other party feels they are not to blame.
This is why a lot of people end up hiring a personal injury attorney as a sort of truck accident lawsuit guide. After all, it’s unlikely that the average person knows how to deal with insurance agents, the trucking company, and other factors.
TorHoerman Law states that truck accident cases are often complex. Navigating them does require a good understanding of the specific laws that govern truck accidents.
Practical Steps to Gain Confidence Around Large Vehicles
Gaining confidence around large vehicles on the road is a gradual process that involves both knowledge and practical experience. Here are two practical steps to help individuals build confidence when driving near large vehicles.
1. Educate Yourself: Knowledge is Power
Understanding the capabilities and limitations of large vehicles is essential for building confidence. Take the time to learn about how these vehicles operate, their blind spots, and the physics involved in their movements. Familiarize yourself with safety features such as air brakes, turn signals, and stopping distances.
Similarly, a lot of problems arise because we aren’t fully confident that we have complete mastery and control over our own vehicles. Ask yourself if you are aware of the core defensive driving practices.
According to NIST, even simple things like learning how to use your mirrors properly are important. This involves proper adjustment of all three mirrors and avoiding the common mistake of sight field overlaps.
2. Gradual Exposure Therapy
The fear of driving near large vehicles is not uncommon, and for many, overcoming this fear requires a systematic approach. This is where the concept of gradual exposure therapy comes into play.
The Kentucky Counseling Center states that you can start by simply holding the steering wheel in your hand. This may seem way too easy, but the goal of exposure therapy is to go very slowly, deliberately, and at graded levels.
For those taking their first steps toward overcoming the fear, beginning in low-traffic areas and during off-peak hours proves invaluable. As confidence grows, the next step involves tackling slightly more challenging scenarios.
Venturing onto highways during periods of moderate traffic introduces drivers to the dynamics of driving alongside large vehicles at higher speeds.
You slowly start to experience the rhythm of the road and become comfortable with the ebb and flow of traffic. The final frontier of exposure therapy involves confronting the bustling urban landscape.
This phase demands the culmination of skills acquired during the earlier stages. Drivers learn to navigate tight spaces, anticipate the movements of large vehicles in congested traffic, and apply defensive driving techniques effectively.
By this point, the fear that once gripped them begins to wane, replaced by a newfound sense of confidence in handling diverse and challenging driving environments.
In conclusion, it is indeed normal to feel nervous when driving close to trucks and other heavy vehicles. After all, we keep hearing about so many instances of violent accidents. However, just a little effort toward educating yourself and gradual exposure therapy can solve most issues.