A lot of people don’t like sharing the road with semis and other large trucks because it makes them nervous. The truck drivers are well trained in driving these large vehicles and often drive many hours every day and week without incident. If you know how to safely share the road with these large trucks it will help put yourself and the truck driver more at ease.
Avoid the blind spots. General rule of thumb is that if you can’t see the truck’s side mirrors then the truck driver can’t see you. Don’t ride too closely to a truck on any side, especially the back because that is a large blind spot. Being right behind the truck can also lead to a high chance of harm and/or damage if you run into them because the truck sits higher than your car.
Don’t cut off a truck. Make sure the truck is visible in your rear view mirror before passing in front of it. Do not get in front of the truck if you notice traffic stopping or slowing down because a large truck needs more space and time to safely stop.
Be patient. If a truck is trying to get over into your lane do not try to speed past it, they may not see you; instead slow down and give them plenty of space to get over. Trucks will also take longer to get up to speed but keep your distance behind them and be patient.
Be aware of wide turns. You will often see that the back of trucks have a sign warning of a wide turn. When preparing for a turn, the truck will often be farther from the turn lane so pay attention and check if they have a turn signal on, if so then wait for the truck to complete their turn before you go. When a truck is turning do not try to squeeze past just to get in front of them; the driver may not see you and this could lead to an accident.
Pass quickly. You don’t want to linger by the side of a semi for long because they are not able to see you. Even though you should pass quickly you still need to pass cautiously; turn your blinker on with enough notice so the truck driver can see it. Avoid passing on the right side of the truck because there is a larger blind spot.
Dim your lights. Bright lights hitting your car mirrors can temporarily blind you, so imagine what it’s like when those bright lights hit a truck’s considerably larger mirrors. When you are driving near a large truck, or anybody for that matter, be sure to turn off your brights or dim your bright lights.
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Author: Samantha Barkley