If you’ve ever felt uneasy driving alongside a semi-truck on the road, you’re not alone. The damages of getting into a collision with a large truck are usually far more catastrophic than getting into an accident with another car. Unfortunately, most fatalities in large truck accidents are passenger vehicle occupants.
Large trucks are pivotal to the economy, but their weight and size are no match for the average passenger vehicles on the road. While accidents with a large truck aren’t always avoidable, there are easy steps you can take while driving to ensure you don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation. Here are four ways to safely share the road with large trucks:
1. Give semi-trucks space
You shouldn’t tailgate or follow too closely behind any vehicle, but this is especially true for large trucks. A fully loaded semi-truck requires 20% to 40% more space than cars to come to a full stop. If road conditions aren’t ideal, they require even more space to stop. Give semi-trucks the space they need to drive safely.
2. Avoid driving in blind spots
Many drivers are surprised to learn that if you cannot see a truck driver in either side mirror, you are driving in a blind spot. Semi-trucks have blind spots on all four sides of their vehicle, so it’s essential not to linger in them for too long.
3. Don’t pass a semi on the right-hand side
Did you know that it’s safer to pass a semi-truck on the driver’s side of the vehicle? Trucks generally have a wider blind spot on their right-hand side that can easily conceal the average car. Whenever possible, pass a truck only on the left-hand side to ensure you remain visible to the trucker.
4. Drive predictably
Driving predictably is always a good rule of thumb, but it’s crucial when you’re driving near a large truck. You can do this by always using your turn signals when you change lanes, checking to make sure you can see the truck driver in their side mirror and always abiding by local traffic laws.
When it comes to navigating the roads, semi-truck drivers face a handful of unique challenges. However, by following these tips and always keeping your focus on the road, you can avoid a deadly encounter with a large truck.