Driving next to a semi-truck is terrifying for any driver, regardless of expertise. Knowing about how to effectively interact with 18-wheelers is essential for every motorist in the United States, where there are more than 2.9 million of them. Below are some ways you should keep in mind the next time you’re in a similar situation.
- Make Sure They Have Lots of Room
The combined weight of 80,000 pounds in a fully loaded semi-truck makes it very difficult for it to come to a rapid stop. In perfect weather, it can take a tractor-trailer going 65 mph as fast as two football fields to come to a complete stop. This means that there is a high risk of catastrophic injury or death from accidents involving the cutting off of semi-trucks.
Never get behind a semi-truck unless absolutely necessary. In the event of an emergency, your vehicle runs the risk of sliding beneath the trailer. Keep your distance from an 18-wheeler whenever you can. A blown tire or strong gusts could slam into your vehicle. You can lessen the likelihood of colliding with a tractor-trailer if you keep your distance from it.
- Don’t Be blind-spotted.
It can be challenging for drivers of large trucks to notice you when you’re approaching because these vehicles have greater blind areas than typical passenger vehicles. Keep in mind that the driver of the truck probably can’t see you if you can’t see them in their mirrors.
Keep at least 30 feet behind the vehicle and 20 feet in front of you at all times to avoid being in its blind zones. Stay in the leftmost lane for half the trailer’s length, and stay out of the two lanes immediately to the truck’s right. Verify that you have a clear view of the truck’s front end before merging in front of it. Preventing a rear-end collision is made easier with this.
- Take a Defensive Move
No matter how at ease you are behind the wheel, you should always drive defensively and remain vigilant while you are in close proximity to big vehicles. If you keep a sharp eye on the road conditions, traffic signs, and weather, you might just be able to prevent an accident. By doing so, you can foresee potential hazards and take appropriate action to avoid them.
- Make it out fast
You might have to overtake other vehicles frequently because, on average, passenger cars go faster than big trucks. To make room for them, go to the far side of the lane when you do this. In addition, instead of loitering beside, accelerate when you pass.
- Turn Down the Lights
While it’s never a good idea to blind a motorist, it becomes extremely risky when the driver is operating a large semi-truck. Strong light that is refracting off a truck driver’s mirror can temporarily blind them for at least two seconds. More than half a football field’s worth of distance may be covered by a vehicle traveling at 55 mph at that time. Reduce the risk of accidents with large trucks by lowering your high lights whenever you are within a block of a semi-truck.
- Communicate Properly
At all times while driving, make sure to utilize your turn signals to let other drivers know what you intend to do. It is important to turn on your turn signals at least three seconds before changing lanes or merging in front of a semi-truck. Just give the driver a little more room to manoeuvre or slow down.
Always Strive to Improve Your Driving
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