As a driver, it’s so important that you understand how to be safe on the road. While we don’t always consider it, driving around large commercial trucks is when drivers are often unsafe. Here are a few tips for you to remember next time you see a truck on the road.
Stay out of the blind spots
Commercial trucks are, obviously, much larger than your average vehicle. This means that they have significantly larger blind spots as well. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reminds us that a truck’s blind spots extend two lanes to the right, one lane to the left, 20 feet in front and 30 feet behind. It’s important that you don’t sit in those blind spots as the driver of a smaller vehicle.
Be careful when passing
When passing a truck, move carefully and quickly. Always use your signals and pass on the left side rather than the right. Accelerate quickly so that you are not sitting in their blind spots and give lots of extra space before you pull in front of the truck. When a truck is passing you, don’t try to speed up and beat them. Instead, always stay put and let them go.
Don’t cut in
Trucks are slower to accelerate and to slow down. Their size means that it takes them nearly 40% more time to stop than your average car, which means that cutting them off puts you in danger. Don’t merge or cut in too close to a truck because they may not be able to slow down in time to keep you safe.
Watch for wide turns
Large vehicles need extra turning room, often up to over 50 feet. This means that you and other drivers around must expect wide turns, even ones that may swing into other lanes.
Though you may be in a rush, remember that the bigger the vehicle, the more time they take to do things. Driving aggressively around a truck puts everyone on the road in danger, including yourself.
Driving near trucks can be intimidating. Always be patient and give them as much space on the road as you can so that you can keep yourself, the truck drivers and everyone else on the road safe.