Tips: Keeping drivers safe around semi-trucks

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | Truck Accidents |

Driving around semi-trucks requires extra caution and awareness due to their size and unique characteristics. Therefore, drivers should keep in mind certain best practices to stay as safe as they can around these vehicles.

Why is it important to exercise a specific kind of caution around semis? Semi-trucks are significantly larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, making them harder to maneuver and stop quickly. Furthermore, these vehicles have large blind spots, also known as “no-zones,” where a truck driver’s visibility is more limited than a passenger motorist’s visibility tends to be. As a result of these – and other – unique challenges that semis pose, drivers need to take particular care when driving anywhere near a large truck.

Maintain a safe distance

When you’re driving near a semi, always maintain a safe distance. A good rule of thumb is to keep a distance of at least four to six seconds behind the truck. This should allow ample time to react to sudden traffic or road conditions changes. It can also help if you avoid tailgating or cutting in front of a truck abruptly, as this can restrict the truck driver’s visibility and maneuverability even further and increase the risk of a collision.

Pass with caution

When passing a semi-truck, exercise caution and patience. Remember that semi-trucks have larger blind spots on the right side, so try to pass on the left whenever possible. Use your turn signals to indicate your intentions and accelerate steadily to complete the pass. Also, avoid lingering in the blind spots and try to ensure you can see the truck’s entire front before merging back into the lane.

Be mindful of turns

Semi-trucks have a wider turning radius than smaller vehicles, so be cautious when drivers are making a turn. Give them plenty of space and avoid trying to squeeze through tight gaps. If you see a truck with its turn signal on, slow down and let them complete their maneuver before proceeding. This helps prevent accidents and better ensures the safety of everyone on the road.

By following the tips, you can minimize risks and help create a safer driving environment for everyone. Remember to maintain a safe distance, pass cautiously and be mindful of turns when sharing the road with semi-trucks.