When you regularly drive, encountering a large commercial truck on the road isn’t uncommon; however, that doesn’t make it any less nerve-wracking. Semi-trucks can weigh up to 20-30 times as the average passenger vehicle, so it’s no surprise that most fatalities in large truck collisions are the car passengers.
No matter how seasoned a driver you are, it’s essential never to forget that safely sharing the road with semi-trucks requires additional precautions. The next time you find yourself driving near a semi-truck, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
1. Trucks have bigger blind spots
Truck drivers face a lot of limitations when it comes to seeing other drivers on the road. Because of its size, a semi-truck has blind spots on all four sides. Drivers should avoid lingering on any side of the truck for too long. If you cannot see the truck driver in their side mirror, they likely cannot see you.
2. Trucks need more time to stop
It’s no surprise that a fully loaded semi-truck needs additional time and distance to reach a complete stop than the average vehicle, but most drivers don’t realize just how much space is required. In ideal driving conditions, a commercial truck traveling 65 mph needs the distance of two football fields to stop – and it’s even further in poor weather conditions. Drivers should avoid suddenly stopping in front of a truck.
3. Trucks make wide turns
Large trucks can be challenging to maneuver and usually require additional space to make to turn. If you see a semi-truck with its turn-signal on, don’t try to pass around the truck to save time. The truck driver may start their turn from the middle lane or swing wide to accommodate their cargo.
Understanding the limitations of large trucks on the road can help you avoid catastrophic accidents. By always staying alert and following these tips, you can take the stress out of sharing the road with semis.