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Tips for safely sharing the road with big rigs

If you are like many drivers, you may try to avoid driving near large commercial trucks whenever possible. Because of their size, they sometimes obstruct the vision of other motorists and otherwise make them uneasy, but avoiding them is not always an option, so it is important that you learn how to safely coexist with them on the roadway.

So, next time you find yourself trying to drive near a semi, keep the following tips in mind.

If you must pass, pass on the left

Passing commercial trucks is always dangerous. Semi-truck drivers have restricted visibility, and you cannot always tell whether someone is coming toward you in the opposite direction if a massive truck is obstructing your view. However, if you must pass a semi-truck, do so on the left side to improve the chances of the driver seeing you and otherwise maximize safety.

Leave ample room for trucks to stop

As you might assume, it is not always easy for a vehicle that weighs several thousand pounds to come to a complete stop. Therefore, it is critical that you do your part to ensure that semi-truck drivers have as much room as possible to stop should the need arise. Do not pass a truck and then immediately cut back in front of it, for example, because despite a truck driver’s best intentions, he or she may simply not have time to stop before striking you.

Avoid racing trucks when merging

Most motorists do not enjoy “getting stuck” behind large trucks, and for this reason, many drivers try and “race” semi-trucks when, say, merging onto the highway. Again, though, remember just how hard it can be for a large truck to stop completely and how much distance the truck might have to cover before it can do so. Waiting a few more seconds to merge can mean the difference between life and death.

Truck drivers and trucking companies have a duty to maintain safe driving practices, but you can also do your part and utilize these tips to help you avoid becoming a statistic.


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