Driving near large semi or trailer trucks can be a source of anxiety for even the most experienced individuals. Their size alone is enough to cause a severe accident, and their restricted mobility makes them less responsive than many other vehicles on the road. Because of this, it’s essential that you know the best practices for maneuvering your car near them—protecting yourself and your passengers in the process. These are a few potentially life-saving safety tips for driving around large trucks that will keep you prepared for anything.
Avoid Their Blind Spots
Since these types of vehicles have large trailers hitched onto their rears, the truck driver is severely limited in what they can see in their vicinity. Everything directly behind them and partially to their sides is obscured by the load they’re carrying. As such, it’s up to you to stay where they can see you and adjust their driving behaviors accordingly. This way, they won’t accidentally change lanes while you’re present and put you at risk.
Increase Your Following Distance
It’s also recommended that you greatly increase your following distance if a truck ends up in front of you. This is the largest blind spot semi-trucks have because their entire field of view is filled with the loaded trailer. In fact, many semis don’t even have a rearview mirror for this exact reason. Therefore, should you get stuck behind one, slowing down to maintain a distance of at least 30 feet will help mitigate your risk.
Be Prepared for Wide Turns
Another important safety tip for driving around large trucks to remember is to expect them to make wide turns. Semis take up a large portion of the intersection and some of the lane next to the one they’re turning into. This means that if you should get too close, they could easily hit your car. By knowing this ahead of time and watching the truck’s movements, you can predict this occurrence and back off before impact.
Know What To Do in an Accident
Additionally, while you might not want to think about it, you should always understand the actions necessary following a collision. Should you happen to get into an accident involving a truck of some kind, immediate responses are vital to getting everyone the proper medical attention. For this reason, knowing your next steps before you need them could very well save your life. Some of these actions include calling law enforcement, getting the truck driver’s information, and collecting an official report of the incident for a potential lawsuit.