Truck Accidents

7 Tips For Sharing The Road With Semi-Trucks

Sharing The Road With Semi-Trucks

Did you know about 76% of commercial vehicle accidents are caused by drivers in passenger cars? While many times these accidents are caused by distracted drivers, a lot of these accidents occur because drivers don’t know how to properly drive around large vehicles.

Semis face a lot of limitations that smaller vehicles do not, including – having to take wide turns, needing more time and room to slow down or to stop, and larger blind spots.

Road and semi truck safety is the responsibility of all drivers, but you can take certain steps to ensure that you’re doing your part as a safe driver. When driving near or around a semi-truck, be sure to:

1. Drive Defensively

Remain alert and pay attention to traffic at all times when driving, especially around large trucks. Semis are bigger in size and weight, making their reaction time slower if they need to slow or come to a stop to avoid collisions.

2. Maintain a safe distance between you and a semi-truck

Driving too close to a semi puts you at greater risk of being in an accident. When you’re driving behind, in front, or beside a large truck, leave enough room for the semi to merge, swerve, and maneuver – in case the semi needs to make a sudden stop, experiences a tire blowout, or gets pushed by a strong gust of wind. Keep in mind to keep a four-second following distance between you and the trailer.

3. Avoid the semi-truck’s blind spots

The right side of a semi-truck is the largest blind spot for the semi driver. Other areas of concern are directly in front of the cab, behind the trailer, and certain areas along the semi driver’s side. Avoid spending too much time in these zones.  This will ensure that the semi driver has visibility of you and your vehicle at all times.

4. Pass Fast

Going along with avoiding blind spots, when you need to enter a semi’s blind spot make sure to do it quickly. When passing a semi-truck, drive closer to the shoulder of the road rather than the truck and speed up.

5. Don’t cut off semis

As mentioned above, semi-trucks have longer stopping distances. To prevent a rear-end collision with a semi, ensure that you can see the entire front end of the truck before passing in front of it.

6. Dim your brights

When traveling near or past a semi-truck, turn off your bright lights. Bright lights can reflect off of the trucks mirror and can cause 2 or more seconds of temporary blindness to the semi driver. The best practice is to lower your brights when you’re one block (or closer) behind a semi.

7. Signal, Signal, Signal

Make sure to signal when merging around and in front of a semi. This lets the driver know of your intentions and can let him/her slow down to accommodate.

Learning how to properly share the road with semi-trucks can prevent wrecks and save lives.