Driving on narrow streets or crowded highways may already cause you stress and finding out you are sharing the road with a semi-truck might heighten that anxiety. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2020, 4,014 people died in large truck crashes.
To ease your worries and avoid such fatalities, you can take steps toward implementing safe driving practices around large trucks.
1. Stay out of blind spots.
The most dangerous area on a semi-truck is the right side of the vehicle as it is the largest blind spot. Try to avoid spending time on the right or driving too closely directly behind or in front of the large truck as the driver might not see you.
2. Remain patient while passing.
While passing a semi-truck, make sure to do so from the left and use your directionals before you change lanes to signal the other driver your intent to move. Avoid temporarily blinding the truck driver by dimming your bright lights when passing.
3. Keep your distance.
A four-second space can provide a safe buffer between the semi-truck and your vehicle. To measure your distance, pick a landmark as you are driving and count the seconds it takes for you to reach it after the truck passes that spot. Aim for no less than four seconds so as to not drive too closely.
4. Avoid large trucks during bad weather.
Inclement weather conditions make it difficult for commercial drivers to operate their trucks. The combination of lower visibility and less control on slick roadways lessens drivers’ reaction times. Do not drive too closely to semi-trucks during rainy or snowy conditions as you could end up sliding underneath the truck.
Being a safe driver involves driving defensively while anticipating certain situations on the road, especially while around semi-trucks.