When a large commercial truck collides with the average passenger vehicle on the road, the results are often catastrophic. Trucks can weigh up to 20 to 30 times as much as passenger cars, leaving the average driver especially vulnerable to severe injuries. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 96% of people killed in an accident involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck in 2018 were the passenger vehicle occupants.

To stay safe while driving near a big rig, it’s essential for drivers to recognize that sharing the road with a commercial truck isn’t the same as sharing it with the averaged sized car. Here are some specific precautions you can take the next time you encounter a semi on the road:

Maintain visibility

Trucks have larger blind spots than cars on all four sides of the vehicle. If you find yourself in a blind spot, speed up or slow down to ensure you remain visible to the truck driver. If you can’t see the driver in their side mirror, they can’t see you.

Don’t tailgate

Tailgating a large truck not only puts your vehicle in a blind spot, but it also puts your car at risk of sliding under the truck in an accident. If a truck is stopped in traffic, keep your distance in case it rolls backward.

Avoid cutting it close

Many drivers don’t realize that a large truck or bus takes 40% longer to stop than a passenger vehicle. Cutting off a commercial truck in traffic is always dangerous as the driver may not slow the vehicle in time to avoid a collision.

Watch out for wide turns

Because of their size, large trucks need more space to complete a turn and will swing wide. At intersections, it’s vital that drivers not cross the line as this can prevent a large truck from turning safely.

Semi-trucks have to navigate the roads a bit differently than other vehicles. By taking extra precautions, you can safely share the road with large trucks and avoid deadly accidents.