There’s no question that sharing the road with a large truck can be intimidating to most drivers – with good reason. Even though only 4% of registered vehicles are considered large trucks and they account for only 10% of all the vehicle miles traveled, they’re involved in 9% of all fatal crashes. Even when everybody survives a truck wreck, their life may be changed forever due to their injuries.
With this in mind, it’s only smart to understand what you can do to minimize the danger you’re in when you’re driving around semis and other large trucks. So, what can you do to keep yourself safer?
Use these tips for defense driving around trucks
When you’re heading down the highway at 65 mph (or more), and there are semis all around you, the smartest thing you can do is take a deep breath and try to remember these rules:
- Stay out of the truck’s blind spots: There are several areas around the truck where the driver cannot see other vehicles. These “No-Zones” are behind, in front and on both sides of the vehicle. It’s usually best to assume you need to be more than 20 feet out front of a truck or more than 30 feet behind it to be seen.
- Be a predictable driver: If you must pass a truck, try to make eye contact with the driver in their side mirror so that they see you, and pass as quickly as possible. When you merge back into the trucker’s lane, use your turn signal to give a warning. The more predictable you are, the better.
- Don’t give in to distractions: Modern life is plagued with distractions both inside and outside vehicles. When you’re sharing the road with a big rig, turn down the radio, keep your eyes off the GPS, ignore the sound of your phone chiming and focus only on the road.
Despite your best efforts, you may still end up in a wreck due to a truck driver’s mistake. If that happens, find out what it takes to protect your future interests and get fair compensation for your losses.