A bicycle is one of the smallest vehicles on the road, while an 18-wheeler truck is one of the largest. Therefore, if the latter hits you while on your bicycle, the results can be devastating for you.
Clearly, it is better to avoid a collision with a large truck in the first place. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration describes things that you can do as a bicyclist to keep yourself and those around you safer.
Be aware of stopping distances and braking
Because of its weight and the speeds at which it travels, a truck requires much longer stopping distances than smaller vehicles do. It takes 600 yards, or the length of two football fields, for a truck to stop when traveling at 65 miles per hour. If you pass a truck on your bicycle, you should never cut in too close afterward.
Because a truck cannot stop quickly, you may have to do so on your bike to avoid a collision. Therefore, you should always check your brakes before riding to be sure they are in good working order.
Stay out of blind spots
Motor vehicles have blind spots, but trucks have larger blind spots on all four sides compared to their smaller counterparts. When riding near a truck, look for the driver in the rearview mirrors. You should never assume that the driver sees you under any circumstances, but if you cannot see him or her through the windshield or in the rearview mirrors, you know for a fact that he or she cannot see you.
Try to give the truck space when riding beside it and avoid getting too close. Truck drivers cannot see directly behind their vehicles, so avoid a truck that is backing up.
These rules do not only apply to 18-wheelers. Other large vehicles, such as buses, pose similar hazards to you when you are on your bike.