Semi trucks are perpetually on American roads. While the presence of many trucks on the highways indicates a strong economy, driving around these big roadway behemoths may be intimidating.
Commercial vehicles like trucks and buses handle differently than traditional passenger vehicles. In order to stay safe around these large vehicles, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, make sure that you give them plenty of space, understand how large the blind spots are and anticipate wide turns.
Giving space to trucks
It is never a good idea to tailgate another vehicle, no matter how large or small it is. However, if you tailgate a semi truck, it puts you directly in a blind spot so the driver will not know that you are there. Even worse, if you do end up in an accident you may slide underneath the truck which is extremely dangerous.
Blind spots and turns
The blind spots on semi trucks are much larger than those associated with regular passenger vehicles. You should always pass a truck on the left because the blind spot on the left side of a truck is only one lane large. The blind spot on the right side of a truck is two lanes and it is dangerous to pass here.
Many trucks require a lot of space in order to turn. The turning rate of the average semi truck is 55 feet. Never try to squeeze by a semi-truck while it is turning and make sure that you stop behind the line at an intersection so that trucks have enough room to turn.