How to safely share the road with semi-trailers

According to AAA, thousands of people die each year in accidents with large vehicles like semi-trailers, buses and emergency vehicles. Unfortunately, you likely drive next to large vehicles like these every day. Accidents can have a variety of causes, including negligent actions by the truck drivers. Because these kinds of accidents can be so catastrophic, you will want to learn more about semis.

Semi-trailers have large blind spots

The most important safety tip to keep in mind when driving next to large vehicles is that they have blind spots, sometimes called 'No Zones.' Large vehicles, like semi-trailers, have blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, blind spots extend 20 feet in front of a semi-trailer and 30 feet behind it, as well as one lane on the left of the semi-trailer and two lanes on the right of it.

When passing a large truck, pass quickly, so you do not stay in the blind spots longer than necessary. If a semi-trailer is trying to pass you or change lanes, do not speed up. Allow the vehicle to safely pass or merge, again allowing you to quickly get out of the blind spots. Remember, if you are unable to see the driver in the truck's mirror, the driver is not able to see you.

Other factors to consider

When driving near semi-trailers or other large vehicles, there are a few things to remember such as:

  • Large vehicles can create wind gusts that make steering difficult.
  • Semi-trailers take wide turns, which can result in the trailer hitting your vehicle.

Accidents with semi-trailers and other large vehicles are often preventable, as long as their drivers practice safe driving. When truck drivers are negligent, serious accidents may be the result.

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