Driving next to large vehicles, especially semi trucks, might make you feel nervous or scared. You probably heard stories of major car accidents involving big trucks so you want to protect yourself from also living through a traumatic experience.
There is no need to worry too much as you can take measures to safely navigate the roadways alongside large trucks.
Be mindful of blind spots
Large trucks have large blind spots called “No Zones” on all sides of the vehicle. Try to avoid spending time in front of the cab or on the right side of the truck. If you drive too closely to a semi truck in these areas, the driver might not see you. This is potentially dangerous as the truck might need to stop or maneuver abruptly.
Stay away from large trucks during bad weather
If roads are slick due to rain, ice or snow, try not to drive too closely to the back or side of a semi because if your car slides, you could end up underneath the truck. Additionally, bad weather gives commercial drivers less visibility and less control of their trucks.
Be patient while passing
To practice safe passing, speed up and drive closer to the shoulder of the road instead of the truck. Always pass semi-trucks on the left side. Use your directionals at least three seconds before you move to signal the truck driver of your intent to change lanes. When you pass the truck, make sure you dim your bright lights so they do not temporarily blind the driver.
Pay attention on steep downhill roads
When you are driving down a steep road, stay away from the front of a semi truck. Large trucks drive faster on steep downhill roads due to the momentum. The drivers need more time to stop than people operating smaller passenger cars do.
All drivers are responsible for roadway safety and by taking these steps, you can do your part.