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How to Safely Share the Road With Semi-Trucks

Driving a vehicle on the roadway inevitably means that you will share the road with a larger commercial truck. These large vehicles can be intimidating, and the reality is that any collision between a regular vehicle and a larger semi-truck could result in significant injuries and property damage. However, there are ways to remain safe around these larger vehicles, and here we want to share some top safety tips for doing so.

Stay Out of Blind Spots

Large commercial trucks on the roadway have blind spots on each side of the vehicle. Often referred to as “no zones,” these areas are larger than blind spots on traditional passenger vehicles. We strongly encourage all vehicle drivers to stay out of large truck blind spots if they can avoid doing so and still travel on the roadway safely. 

It is crucial to understand that the blind spots on either side of the large commercial truck are rather large, so it is best to avoid traveling alongside commercial trucks for the most part. Additionally, traveling directly behind a large commercial truck could lead to deadly rear-end collisions, and traveling right in front of the large truck could lead to the truck driver rear-ending you.

Give Truck Space to Turn

Large trucks need more space to make turns. This is not as much of a problem when a truck makes a left-hand turn, but making a right turn can prove to be tricky, especially in crowded urban areas. You may have seen large trucks “swing” left, sometimes into another lane on the left, when they need to make a turn to the right. This is an attempt to give them more space to make the turn without the truck trailer going off the roadway or striking fixed objects on the right side when making a turn.

If you see a large truck driver activate their turn signal, simply slow down and wait for them to complete their turn before carrying on.

Leave Distance on Highways

When traveling near a large commercial truck on the highway, it is best to leave a significant amount of distance between your vehicle and the large commercial truck. Give yourself at least four to five seconds of distance between your vehicle and the truck, and only pass the larger truck on its left-hand side if you need to do so. By leaving a significant amount of distance between your vehicle and a larger truck, you will give yourself time to react if anything happens that causes the truck driver to swerve or stop suddenly.

Passing Safely

If you need to pass a larger semi-truck on the highway, you should do so as quickly but safely as possible. In other words, do not linger alongside the truck when you pass. You should attempt to pass on the left-hand side if you can do so, accelerate past the truck, and then reactivate your turn signal if you need to get into the lane in front of the truck again. However, remember not to travel too close to the front of the large commercial truck because this is one of the driver’s blind spots. If a collision does occur, a truck accident lawyer in Houston can help with your case.

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