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How to drive around semitrucks safely

passing a truck.jpeg

The responsibility to drive in a safe manner falls on every driver on the road. Unfortunately, many don't take this responsibility very seriously.

Instead, there are many drivers who take risks that lead to serious accidents. While you can't prevent someone else from hitting you, you can drive as safely as you can so that you don't share in the responsibility of a crash if one does occur.

Safety tips for passing trucks

Driving around semitrucks is one of the primary hazards that drivers face. These large trucks are found on roads of all sorts, so you should always be prepared to encounter one. Follow these tips to help keep you and your passengers safe.

Stay where the trucker can see you

A trucker can't ensure you are staying safe if he or she can't see you. Semitrucks have large blind spots -- "no zones" where they can't see other vehicles. These exist in a few places around the semi:

  • The one in the rear is around 30 feet long.
  • On the driver's side, it starts at the cab and extends to the midpoint of the trailer for about one lane over.
  • On the passenger side, it starts at the cab, extends to beyond the end of the trailer and encompasses two lanes over.
  • The one in the front extends 20 feet.

Staying out of these areas can help you to remain safe, but it is likely going to be difficult if you are passing the truck when there aren't multiple lanes available. Generally, the rule to follow is that if you can't see the trucker, he or she can't see you.

Remember that these trucks need room to maneuver

Drivers of large tractor-trailers and trucks need to have a lot of room to maneuver because of their vehicles' length, size and weight. You might have seen truckers veer left when they are actually going to turn right. This is necessary, but some drivers tend to think that they can pass the truck on the right when this is happening. If you do this, you might find yourself being smashed on the side of the truck. A better option is to just wait patiently while the truck turns, and then move along on your way.

Get help if an accident occurs

When an accident with a semitruck does occur, seek medical attention. Injuries in these cases can range from minor to catastrophic, and symptoms can be masked initially due to shock or adrenaline. It is best to err on the side of caution if you have been in an accident.

Injuries can lead to substantial losses such as wages from missed work, medical expenses and property damage. If the other driver was negligent, learn about your options for obtaining compensation to help you and your family get by in the difficult days ahead.

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