Driving a big rig comes with weightier responsibilities — literally. Truckers are trained to safely maneuver trucks that can weigh 80,000 pounds, which is 20 times the size of an average automobile. To share the road with large trucks and reduce the risk of an accident, vehicle drivers need to understand and follow the points below.
1. Keep a distance.
Following a truck too closely could damage a vehicle’s windshield if one of the truck’s tires blows. A windstorm may also cause a truck to swerve or be blown over. Vehicles following too closely may not have enough time to brake and avoid a collision. Additionally, if a vehicle is hit by an automobile from behind, they may end up crashing into the truck in front of them if they’re following too closely.
2. Avoid the truck’s blind spots.
Due to the sheer size of a semi truck, its blind spots are bigger than those of most cars. As a general rule, automobile drivers should keep a one-lane space on the driver’s side and a two-lane space on the passenger side. Keep a 30-foot distance between you and the truck if you’re following from behind.
3. Keep out of the “no zones” when a truck is turning a corner.
Don’t pass a truck when the driver is turning a corner. Larger vehicles may need more than one lane to make a wide turn.
4. Drive at a consistent speed.
Avoid making sudden turns or stops near a truck. Semis with loaded trailers have a higher center of gravity and require more time to respond to the actions of other drivers.
5. Trucks can’t accelerate as quickly as cars.
Though passenger drivers can quickly accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour, trucks need more time to accelerate. This can cause frustration in automobile drivers who decide to dart in front of a truck.
6. Backing in takes time.
Automobile drivers need to wait patiently for trucks backing in from the street. They have more details to be mindful of when backing in.
7. Truck drivers work on the road.
Truck drivers are on the clock when they’re driving. This means they have to follow company rules for speed and safety. Automobile drivers need to remember that and understand that truck drivers have a duty to drive safely.