A collision with a semi-truck can leave drivers with severe injuries. Drivers need to know how to share the road with large trucks so that they and their families will be safe.
There are several factors people should consider when they drive around trucks.
Know when to pass
According to the American Trucking Association, semi-trucks need more space to stop than a passenger vehicle does. Most trucks need the length of a football field to come to a complete stop. If drivers merge directly in front of them, truck drivers may not have enough time to slow down and may collide with the passenger vehicle. Before merging in front of a truck, people should look in their rearview mirror. If the truck’s headlights are not visible, they do not have enough room to pull in front of the truck.
Stay out of blind spots
Trucks have larger blind spots than most vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck drivers cannot see a vehicle that is less than 30 feet behind them. They also will not see cars driving less than 20 feet in front of the truck. Additionally, truck drivers cannot see cars immediately to the left and right of the vehicle. When drivers have to be near trucks, they should make sure they can see the truck driver in his or her side mirror. If people can see the truck driver, the trucker can usually see them.
Give trucks space
Semi trucks usually need more room to maneuver than other vehicles do. Drivers should slow down when they see a truck coming down the entrance ramp or trying to merge into their lane. They may also want to keep their distance so that the trucker can merge into the lane with plenty of room to spare.
If people use caution when they drive near semi-trucks, they may be able to decrease their chances of getting into a collision.