How to Share the Road Safely with Semi-Trucks
Driving can be scary enough, especially on large or unfamiliar roads. Driving near a massive, multi-ton semi-truck can really up the ante! Below, we’ve outlined how to share the road safely with semi-trucks so that you can get to your destination anxiety-free.
Give Semi-Trucks Space
Semi-trucks and big rigs require more time to stop and more space to turn. It’s wise, when possible, to give semi-trucks as much space as you can. Avoid cutting them off, tailgating, or merging too closely.
Avoid Blind Spots
Another factor that comes along with the large size of semi-trucks are equally massive blind spots. These are especially dangerous on the right side and directly behind the truck. A good general rule of thumb is that if you cannot see the driver in their side mirror, the driver cannot see YOU. Avoid this whenever possible!
Use Signals to Communicate
Signal your intentions early and clearly. If you plan to merge, turn your signal on a solid 10 seconds before you actually do so. Make sure that the driver of the big rig can see your signal. If you have to pull over, be sure to turn those warning lights on to communicate to truck drivers that you are fully stopped – especially at night.
Pass with Caution
Ensure that you have ample space and time to make the maneuver. Accelerate steadily, use your turn signal, and pass on the left when possible. Give the semi-truck plenty of space in front and never cut them off abruptly. In addition, passenger cars should try to avoid being “sandwiched” or boxed-in by several big rigs. Passing trucks can be the safe move, but make sure you do it responsibly.
Be Patient & Predictable
Patience and predictability are vital when sharing the road with semi-trucks. They take longer to accelerate, decelerate, and make turns due to their massive size and weight. Patience is a virtue, and it could save your life when sharing the road with semi-trucks! Avoid sudden maneuvers and try to be as predictable as possible. Maintain a consistent speed so that truck drivers can anticipate your movements. If you keep all of this in mind, it will be easy to share the road safely with semi-trucks.