Large trucks are a vital part of how goods get from one part of the country to the other. Without these large trucks, many of the products you count on every day would come at higher costs and shorter supply.
When a semi is in an accident with another vehicle, the damage is typically catastrophic. While you cannot avoid driving near these large vehicles, you can drive in a way that helps truck drivers see you and navigate around you safely.
Here’s how you can drive more safely around semis.
See and be seen
Semis carry a lot of cargo, and the long trailer can often create a significant blind spot. When you are passing or driving behind a semi, it is essential to pay attention to where you are and whether the driver can see you.
In general, you should try to stay where you can see the driver’s mirrors. Typically, if you can see the mirrors of the truck, the driver can see you. Keep in mind, however, there are still areas where it is harder for a trucker to see a smaller vehicle.
If you need to pass a semi, try to do so quickly to minimize your time in their blind spot. Also, make sure to signal your lane changes, so the driver has plenty of notice of what you plan to do.
More room to stop, please
The larger a vehicle is, the longer it takes to stop. An empty semi weighs about 35,000 pounds. Depending on the cargo in the trailer, that weight could go up to 80,000 pounds. When it is time for a semi to stop, it can take several seconds and over 200 feet.
Whether you are passing a semi on the highway or there is one behind you as a street light turns red, keep in mind that it takes longer for the truck to stop than for your vehicle. Before you slow or stop your car in front of a semi, consider whether they have enough room and if you have an opportunity to move to another lane.
When you take the time to exercise more caution around semis, you can help everyone on the road get home safely.