Motorists cross paths with all kinds of vehicles in moving traffic. While it’s usually easy to maneuver around small cars, heightened alertness is necessary when driving near large vehicles. Especially semi-trucks. Semis are so big that they naturally obstruct visibility for smaller cars. Without cautious handling, ordinary drivers can accidentally end up colliding with trucks.
Share the Road:
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration cautions that, “Large trucks and buses have large blind spots, long stopping distances, and make wide turns, which is why it’s vital for everyone on the road to make a plan for road safety. A tailgating crash between two passenger vehicles may result in a fender bender, however, a similar crash involving a large truck or bus may have greater consequences.” Here are a few quick tips on how to drive safely around large vehicles:
1. DON’T Dillydally:
Semi-trucks are larger and heavier than small cars. This makes them less agile, and more cumbersome. Don’t expect truck drivers to be able to respond to road conditions swiftly. Accelerate or slow down to accommodate them instead.
2. DO Check Your Mirrors and Blind-Spots:
Semis might have difficulty slowing down or stopping, but that doesn’t change the fact that they can move at freeway speeds. Always make sure the coast is clear before changing lanes, and use your indicators proactively.
3. DON’T Put Yourself in a Position to Need Emergency Brakes:
Using emergency brakes while driving in front of a semi-truck is extremely dangerous. Purely because trucks have longer stopping-distances than small cars. If you have no choice but to drive in proximity to a truck, maintain a responsible speed.
4. DO Give Way:
One of the biggest problems that truck drivers face in traffic is merging. This is because many drivers are hesitant to make room for slow-moving trucks. Instead of contributing to this gridlock, be courteous enough to let truck drivers merge. This reduces standoffs in traffic.
5. DON’T Pass Semis on the Right:
The blind-spot on the right-hand side of a semi-truck is enormous. Even when drivers check their mirrors. Any vehicle that passes a semi to the right risks getting crushed out of nowhere by impromptu lane-changes.
Regardless of how fast or slow traffic is moving, never approach trucks in a casual manner. Be prepared to yield, and do whatever is necessary to maintain a safe stopping-distance. Following the fundamentals is all it takes to protect everyone from fatal accidents. For more information, visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-639-7654 to find out how Adriana’s Insurance Services can help you stay safe. We got you covered!