There is hardly any car driver that feels comfortable driving around large trucks. Their huge rigs and massive structure can be very threatening and dangerous. What makes matters worst is how they are usually loaded with items (sometimes heavy) to the brim with their drivers going in a haphazard manner. That sight can be both terrifying and annoying.
Nevertheless, these semi-trucks are quite essential to our sustenance. They help transport all that is considered a necessity from the port (if they’re imported) to the warehouse, and from there to the grocery stores or from the manufacturing companies to the retail stores.
Even though driving close to them can be a challenge, but considering the important role they play in our lives and economy, learning how to drive around them would give you more confidence and peace of mind. Below are expert tips to help you drive around these trucks.
1. Keep a Good Distance
As much as possible, maintain a good following distance when driving with trucks. There are several reasons why you shouldn’t drive too close to a heavy vehicle or right behind them. Here are some of them:
- If their tires blow, they could skid quickly leaving you with some serious injuries.
- If you’re in the blind spot when the truck driver needs to take a wide turn, you would be in serious trouble.
- When the truck driver suddenly presses the brake pedals and you weren’t able to do so too, you can imagine what would happen. You would either go right under or ram the truck.
Thus, why you should always keep a good distance between the truck and your vehicle. Some people apply this rule for any vehicle too as you would have enough time to act in case anything goes wrong.
2. Don’t Drive In Their Blind Spots
One of the major causes of truck accidents is when people drive in the blind spots of the semi-truck. The truck drivers are in a high position where other cars are viewed from a high point of view. Considering that the length of trucks is quite long, there are blind spots where the driver is unable to see smaller cars.
You see how dangerous it can now be for one to drive alongside a truck where the driver can not even see you. The blind spots can be either on the sides of the vehicle or at the front and rear end. Never drive around these spots and if you do by chance, horn continuously so the driver can at least hear else you risk being in a truck accident. Remember that the bigger the vehicle the bigger its blind spots. Check the blind spots for a standard 18-wheeler truck:
- 20 feet in front
- One lane to the left
- Two lanes to the right
- 30 feet behind
3. Overtake Quickly
We’ve just emphasized the importance of not driving in a blind spot and the next thing to note is how you should overtake large trucks. Keep in mind that commercial truckers have a speed limit and they are there to prevent them from driving above a certain speed that can cause accidents. So, anytime you see a trucker speeding past you, do well to alert the authorities.
Let’s get back on course; when you want to overtake a truck, do that by giving it some distance so you are completely out of its blind spot. Next, notify the driver using the signal lights or by blinking your headlights. Then pass by the left side. Do not overtake at a slow speed as that is a blind spot for the driver. The moment you’ve signaled the driver, pass quickly.
4. Limit Distractions
Whether you’re driving alongside large trucks or regular vehicles, limit or better still avoid any distractions when you drive. There’s an increasing number of people who have been involved in tragic accidents because they were distracted while driving.
It is more than just using your smartphone; drinking, eating, talking, or trying to engage in multiple tasks at the same time are forms of distracted driving. Do well to avoid it.
5. Be Patient When Driving
Driving large trucks isn’t easy, so you have to be patient when you’re on the road with them. Because of how stressful it can be, they even have very strict rules of operation to follow with different types of regulating devices. Trying to maneuver your way through traffic or being aggressive would only put you at risk of causing an accident yourself.
Be patient and focused when driving near semi-trucks on the road. It would help you react to any unusual changes on the road.
There is no such thing as being too cautious on the road. It might not be so if you’re the only one driving but you’re not. Hence, you should play your part in staying safe at all times.