Seeing many trucks on American roadways is a good sign, as it means that the economy is doing well. However, understanding the best ways to maneuver around these giant roadway behemoths is important for your safety.
Given that trucks are much larger than traditional passenger vehicles, they handle quite a bit differently. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers many tips to drivers of smaller vehicles who want to stay safe around trucks. These tips include avoiding the truck’s blind spots and being aware of how much space larger vehicles need to stop.
But I should not be in anybody’s blind spots, correct?
Yes, this is true. However, the blind spots on a truck operate a little bit differently as compared to those on a smaller passenger vehicle. For instance, the blind spot in the back a truck is nearly 30 feet. The blind spot in before of a truck can extend for up to 20 feet depending on how high up the truck cab is. These are very large blind spots.
Additionally, a truck’s right-hand blind spot is very large. It takes over two entire lanes. A truck’s left-hand blind spot only extends for one lane. This is why passing a semi-truck on the left is of paramount importance for your safety.
How much space should I give a truck?
It is never a good idea to cut off anybody, but cutting off a semi truck can be very deadly. Keep in mind that larger commercial vehicles like trucks and buses require 40% more space to stop as compared to a lighter and smaller passenger vehicle.