It is natural to feel intimidated when you approach a large truck on the road. Due to their greater size and weight, semi trucks can inflict serious damage and injury after colliding with another vehicle. While truck drivers bear responsibility for safe driving, you can still take steps to lessen your chances of getting into an accident with a big truck.
The U.S. Department of Transportation describes how to adjust your driving practices if you should drive near a large truck. These tips involve taking characteristics of a big truck into consideration as part of your driving.
Avoiding truck blind spots
Large trucks have wider blind spots than other vehicles. This puts you in danger if you drive into the blind spot. If the truck driver cannot see you in the truck mirrors, it is a good bet the trucker is unaware of your presence and may make a turn that collides the truck trailer with your vehicle. To avoid blind spots, keep your distance from the sides of the truck or from the space close to the back of the truck.
Leaving more room
You probably know that a big truck needs more distance from surrounding vehicles because of the size of the truck. However, you should also be aware that large trucks need more room to maneuver. The structure of a large truck often includes a cab and a large trailer. When a truck turns, the trailer needs more space to complete the turn. As a result, big trucks can catch a smaller vehicle in the turn, resulting in a collision.
Passing a truck
Passing a large truck is already dangerous since you might drive into the blind spot. Still, there are other issues involved. You might cut off a truck after passing it by shifting directly in front of it. A big truck needs more space to slow down. If you crowd a truck in front, you run the risk of a collision. Additionally, take caution if you should try to pass a truck while driving on an inclined road since the truck will pick up speed naturally due to the slope.