You may feel nervous when you drive on the highway near semitrucks. To keep yourself safe, you need to understand how to drive around these vehicles.
There are several factors you should consider when there are large trucks nearby.
Know when to pass
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, you should avoid cutting off trucks. Large commercial vehicles have significant blind spots. The driver may not know your vehicle is there until you merge in front of the truck. Because semitrucks need more time and distance to stop, truckers may rear-end your vehicle after a sudden merge.
When you need to pass a truck, wait until the driver is visible in the side mirror. Use your turn signal so the trucker knows you want to merge. Additionally, do not merge in front of the truck until you can see the vehicle in your rearview mirror. This ensures that you have enough space to pass safely.
Understand a truck’s blind spots
Semitrucks have larger blind spots than the average vehicle. Truckers usually cannot see obstacles that are less than 20 feet from the front of the vehicle and less than 30 feet from the rear. Additionally, truck drivers have limited visibility out the sides of the vehicle. If your car is immediately in front of, behind or next to a semitruck, the driver likely cannot see you. How do you know that a truck driver sees you? Look in the semitruck’s side mirror. The driver can typically see you if you can see the driver.
You may also be safer on the road you give trucks more time and space to maneuver.