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How to Drive Safely Near Semi Trucks

Published on Jun 14, 2017 at 11:37 am in Truck Accidents.

Semi trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, and other types of large, commercial trucks and buses can be challenging to drive near if you’re in a smaller passenger vehicle. Some drivers are even understandably uncomfortable driving next to a large truck. Semi trucks are noisy, make wide turns, take longer to stop, and can limit visibility. Additionally, it can be nerve-wracking to drive next to these vehicles when you know that any type of truck accident would almost assuredly result in devastation.

In order do our part to avoid dangerous truck crashes, we need to focus on driving safely and cautiously around large trucks. Doing so makes it easier for the truck driver to avoid accidents as well as encourages a smooth, safe flow of traffic.

If you’re wondering how to drive safely near semi trucks, here are 5 simple tips for driving safely near semi trucks and other large, commercial vehicles:

Give Yourself Extra Space

Buses and trucks take up to 40% longer to slow or stop compared to smaller vehicles. When turning, changing lanes, or merging near trucks, plan your moves well ahead of time, signal early, and give yourself and the truck driver extra space to react or slow down if necessary. When following a truck on city streets, make sure to keep extra distance in between both vehicles as well. Trucks may roll back when coming to a complete stop.

Give the Truck Extra Space

Trucks require wide turns. A big rig requires a radius of roughly 55 feet when turning to cover both the cab and trailer. Never be next to a truck or attempt to make a right-hand turn when a truck has its turn signal on. Additionally, be careful to stop at intersections behind the appointed lines. This gives trucks enough room to make turns safely.

Avoid Blind Spots

Semi trucks and other large commercial vehicles like buses have massive blind spots, sometimes referred to as “no zones”. These blind spots are located behind the truck or bus and on both sides—extending for more than 2 highway lanes. Don’t ever drive in these blind spots if possible. If you’re unsure of where these blind spots are, follow this basic rule of thumb: If you can see the driver in the truck’s side mirror, they can see you. If you can’t, they can’t.

Pass Carefully

As mentioned above, semi trucks and buses have large blind spots you’ll inevitably have to pass through when passing a truck or bus or when merging into their lane. When passing a truck, pass on the left, signal early, change lanes, and accelerate so you quickly move past their blind spot. Don’t linger where the driver cannot see you. When pulling in front, make sure you can view the truck in your rearview mirror before changing lanes. Give extra space whenever possible.

Don’t Become Distracted

When driving around large trucks, stay extra focused on the road and the actions the truck driver takes. Driving distracted is dangerous at any time, but even more so when you’re near a commercial vehicle. Resist that urge to check your smartphone or change your music when driving near a truck.

By practicing the above tips, you can help prevent truck accidents and become more confident when driving near larger vehicles. When we drive confidently and prioritize safety, we ensure Nebraska highways and roads are safer for everyone.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Nebraska truck accident and feel that negligence may have played a role in the crash, don’t hesitate to reach out to Welsh & Welsh today. We can pair you with an experienced Omaha truck accident lawyer who can help you and your family receive the financial compensation you need to move forward.