Collisions with semi-trucks often cause devastating injuries and death due to their massive size and weight.
While all drivers owe a duty to each other to drive as safely as possible, there are steps all drivers should take when driving near semi-trucks to help avoid collisions.
1. Stay out of their blind spots
The massive size and length of semi-trucks create larger blind spots than average passenger vehicles. If the truck driver cannot see you, you are in danger. Make sure that you can see their side mirrors at all times so that you know you are in their view.
2. Pass with care
When you want to pass a semi-truck, assess whether or not you have enough clearance to pass the truck fully. Do not try to pass if you will wind up coasting alongside the truck. Wait until you have room to pass all the way in front of the truck before initiating a pass so that you are next to the truck for the least amount of time necessary.
3. Give them extra room
Semi-trucks are large and heavy. They need extra room to turn, and they need extra room to slow down. Allow extra space between you and semi-trucks in front of you. Keep extra distance between you and any semi-trucks behind you. If you feel that a semi-truck is following you so closely that they may not be able to slow down or stop before striking you, get into another lane.
Always make your intentions clear when driving around semi-trucks. Use your signal before merging into traffic in front of them and wait until you see them in your rearview mirror to ensure there is enough room to merge without cutting them off.