Semi-trucks and other commercial trucks weigh several times more than typical passenger vehicles. It is the truck driver’s responsibility to ensure they are staying safe for other drivers around them, but there is no guarantee of their safety measures. Thankfully, passenger drivers can take their safety precautions to protect themselves on the road.
Despite all the training truck drivers go through, trucking accidents are at a 30-year high. With accurate information and proactive steps, other drivers can help keep themselves safe around these trucks.
Give them space
Trucks take up a considerable amount of space on the road, and they need more space than the amount you may give another car. Trucks cannot see standard vehicles within 30 feet of the front and back of the vehicle. Trucks also need considerably more space to come to a complete stop. This limited braking options means that if you are too close to the front of them, they may still hit you even if the driver has slammed on the brakes.
Maintain visibility of the driver
A truck’s blind spots are far bigger than you may imagine. In the lane to the left of a truck, a trucker may not see you from the front of the vehicle to halfway back the truck. If you are in the lane to the right of the truck, the truck driver may not be able to see you at all. If you cannot see a truck driver in their mirror, they cannot see you. When a driver cannot see a car, they are far less likely to be able to avoid you while driving.
Watch for weather
Any difficulty you may experience in bad weather, trucks experience worse consequences. The trailers of trucks are a huge surface that catches wind. Strong winds may slightly push your car, but they push much harder on trucks. While truckers may be prepared for the weather, a strong enough wind can push a truck into an entirely different lane on the road. Avoid staying adjacent to a truck at all times, but especially during stormy weather.
Stay safe out there
It is best to keep your distance from trucks for many reasons. If you can pass a truck on the road, make sure you pass them on their left, and not in a way that might surprise them. Your actions on the road can keep you and your passengers safe, so make sure you take the precautions to protect them and yourself.