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Safety Tips For Sharing the Road With Large Trucks & Semis

While there is no remedy for the significant size discrepancy that exists between a passenger vehicle and a semi truck, there are many ways that we can all do our own part to reduce the number of large truck accidents on the roads while also keeping our loved ones and ourselves safe.

Stay Alert and Always Practice Defensive Driving—It is always best to use extra caution around large trucks and tractor-trailers. These vehicles are very different to operate compared to other cars and SUVs, and they behave quite differently as well. At highway speeds, and especially in adverse conditions, make sure to give trucks space to maneuver, stop and turn. Don’t cut trucks off to reach an exit or nearby turn, and respect truck drivers.

Avoid the Blind Spots of Large Trucks—Semi trucks and other large tractor-trailers have enormous blind spots, and this makes driving around these vehicles especially dangerous. Roughly 1/3rd of all truck accidents are a result of a car driving in the blind spot of a semi. In this respect, the best rule of thumb is: if you can’t see a truck driver’s side mirrors, you know for a fact a truck driver can’t see you either.

Don’t Attempt to Pass a Truck While It Is Turning—Trucks move slower than passenger vehicles, a lot slower, and they all have a massive turning radius. When a semi slows down to turn, it is common for other motorists to try to pass them, but if the trucks wide running circle causes its back end to stray into the adjacent lane, this can cause serious accidents.

Don’t Attempt to Pass a Truck on the Right—Again, it is tempting to attempt to pass a slow moving semi, but remember that these vehicles have a very wide turning radius, and in many cases, trucks will take a wide approach into a turn. When cars attempt to pass a truck on the right without knowing the driver’s intentions, they open themselves up to serious injury if the driver is actually making a wide turn and veers into their path.

Try To Be Predictable When In Front of a Truck—Cutting another vehicle off is a bad idea in general, but it is especially dangerous when trucks are involved. These large vehicles are far heavier, and require far more stopping distance, than cars; if another motorist darts in front of them unexpectedly they may not be able to brake in time. (Road Safe America)

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