Tips for Driving Safely Around Large Trucks

Tips for Driving Safely Around Large Trucks

Driving around large trucks – semis, tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, dump trucks, etc. – can be quite daunting. With some weighing in at over 80,000 pounds, being involved in a truck accident may very well result in injury or even loss of life. Although you cannot control the behavior of other drivers on the road, there are a number of safe practices you can incorporate into your driving habits to ensure that you are doing everything you can to be seen on the road and to keep yourself and others safe. Here are a few suggestions for your consideration:

  • DO NOT change lanes abruptly around a truck.
  • Do give trucks the right of way by slowing down.
  • Do drive at a safe speed, not only around these trucks, but in general.
  • Do adjust your speed according to the weather conditions.
  • Do be mindful of traffic signals and road conditions.
  • Do use turn signals (not just around large trucks, but while driving in general).
  • Do try to avoid driving next to a tractor-trailer or large truck if at all possible.
  • DO NOT cut off tractor-trailers or trucks.
  • Do remember that these large trucks have blind spots. A good rule of thumb is that if you cannot see the driver in the truck’s outside mirrors, the chances are high that he or she cannot see you and thus has no idea you are there.
  • Do use low-beam lights when following large trucks at night.
  • DO NOT follow large trucks closely. Err on the side of caution by leaving more room between your vehicle and the truck than less.
  • Do maintain a constant speed when passing large truck, and leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the truck before moving in front of it.
  • Do avoid driving in between two large trucks if possible. The truck drivers might not see you and if they try to move into your lane, you may be forced off of the road or into another vehicle.