If you’ve ever had to drive near a big rig on a street or highway, you know how daunting it can be. Commercial trucks are much bigger and heavier than passenger vehicles, so it can be intimidating to drive near them on the road.
Read on to learn how to keep yourself and your family safe while driving around big rigs.
Among others, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers the following safety tips for driving near big trucks:
Stay out of their blind spots. Large trucks’ blind spots are also referred to as their “no-zones.” They’re called that because they’re the areas around a truck in which you should never drive in because the trucker won’t be able to see you. Check out the graphic below for a visual of a truck’s no-zones.
Pass with caution. You should be able to see the truck driver in their mirror. Be sure to clearly signal before moving over into the lane to your left. Then, speed up so that you don’t linger in the truck’s blind spots for any period of time. Give trucks extra space when you move over in front of them. It’s not a good idea to pass trucks when you’re going downhill since they tend to pick up speed. Never pass a truck from the right lane.
Don’t cut off trucks. Since trucks have 20 foot (ft) blind spots in the front, it’s not wise to cut off trucks since they probably won’t be able to see you. Even if the driver is able to see you, they may not have enough space to slow down to avoid colliding with your vehicle.
Don’t tailgate. You should never tailgate any vehicle, but this an especially dangerous practice around large trucks due to their size and weight.
Provide extra space for turns. Trucks make very wide turns, which means they need extra turning room. Never stop in a crosswalk at an intersection so that trucks have enough room to make turns.
Be patient. Due to their size, commercial trucks need more time to speed up, slow down, and maneuver. In some cases, commercial trucks may be equipped with technology such as speed limiters which prevent them from exceeding a certain speed. Keep your distance and give a truck the appropriate amount of time and space instead of driving aggressively to pass them.
Wear a seatbelt. Buckling up is one of the easiest and most meaningful things you can do to stay safe behind the wheel. Always make sure you and your passengers are all properly wearing your seatbelts before heading out on your drive.
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