How to Drive Safely Near Trucks

An accident involving passenger vehicles and trucks can be devastating. Commercial trucks are bulky and take up more space on the road. This is why such an accident can leave the victims with severe injuries or, even worse, death. Semi-trucks are designed to transport cargo over long distances. Driving a car is all about knowledge and experience. Even with this, drivers should have essential driving tips to help them stay safe when driving near semi-trucks. It would be best to apply the same driving rules you would use in regular traffic regardless of vehicle type on the road. However, using extra caution near these large semi-trucks is suitable for any driver. With that in mind, let’s look at a few safety rules to help you drive safely.

1. Keep Ample Following Distance

If you’re driving a small passenger vehicle, ensure you give semi-trucks plenty of room. Commercial trucks take a significant amount of time and distance before they come to a complete stop. Law experts at truck accident attorney Houston suggest that sometimes truck drivers may not always operate reasonably and safely. This is why you should avoid following a semi-truck too close. It can put you in a dangerous spot if you’re unable to stop in time to avoid a collision. You should ensure that you follow the truck safely as it may experience a tire blowout. This is a common occurrence with commercial trucks, which drive for many miles across different rates.

2. Use Signals

As we mentioned above, semi-trucks are heavier and large than many other vehicles sharing the same road. Because of this size, semi-trucks require plenty of time and distance to navigate through traffic. If you’re traveling on the same route with plenty of commercial trucks, ensure to indicate when you’re changing lanes. Using your indicator lights will help the truck driver to see your intentions. This will help them adjust accordingly and give you room to make your move without any collision.

3. Take Caution When Passing Semi-Trucks

Since semi-trucks require more time to stop and navigate through traffic, it would be best to exercise wariness when passing a semi-truck; This also includes when you’re trying to overtake a semi-truck. Take appropriate caution, especially when you’re driving downhill or uphill. This is because some semi-truck drivers may decrease or increase their speeds inappropriately along with these areas. Additionally, it’s easier for a truck driver to notice you if you’re driving on the left side of the truck. It would be best to pass on the left side while maintaining a safe speed. Also, remember to signal appropriately. Wait until you can merge back into the semi-trucks lane and ensure you can view the truck driver in your rear-view mirror.

4. Watch Out for Blind Spots

While you may not know it yet, even your car has blind spots. Blind spots are the road areas surrounding a vehicle that cannot be seen when using the side or rear-view mirrors. You can follow a few rules that can help avoid a truck’s blind spots. A good one is that if you cannot see the truck’s side mirrors, it’s likely that the truck driver cannot see you. The passenger side of a semi-truck has more blind spots than the driver’s side. This is why it’s always recommended to pass a semi-truck on the left. Additionally, avoid the front of a semi-truck by at least 20-25 feet ahead and begin within 200-250 feet from the rear of a semi-truck.

5. Avoid Changing Lanes Fast

If you’re driving along a three-lane highway, abide by these rules. First, don’t switch from the far-left lane to the right lane while passing a semi-truck in the front. The truck driver may fail to notice you as you drive, increasing the chances for a collision. Additionally, avoid overtaking a truck on the right-hand side as this area has plenty of major blind spots. Once you pass or overtake a semi-truck, maintain your swift speed, and avoid decelerating right after passing.

6. Limit Your Distractions

Many people are easily distracted by small things that can take their focus off the road. This means you’re unable to control the vehicle, which puts everyone in grave danger. It would be best to stay focused on the road while you’re driving and avoid distractions such as answering and making phone calls, texting, eating, adjusting your vehicle’s features, or having conversations with passengers in the car.

Finally, ensure to wear your safety belt anytime you’re driving. For instance, some states require all front-seat occupants of a vehicle to wear safety belts. Wearing a safety belt is a useful measure you can take to lower the risk of injury or death. Finally, ensure you seek legal services if you or someone you love is injured in a truck accident.