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5 things you can do to stay safe near a semi or a bus

The size difference between your passenger car and a semitruck or a bus puts you in significant danger whenever you drive near them. Even a small mistake can lead to a devastating accident. Your car's crash ratings do not give you that much comfort when you're worried about your 3,500-pound car getting hit by an 80,000-pound semi.

To stay safe, always do the following things:

  1. Practice patience: Remember that trucks are often limited to a far lower speed limit than you are, and this is done for your safety. If you can't get around, just wait. Never tailgate or drive aggressively.
  2. Remember that they make wide turns: If you're sitting in the left-hand turn lane and a truck is trying to turn into the lane next to you, back up a bit. That trailer may swing through your lane.
  3. Never get too close to the back of a truck: The driver cannot see you. He or she may have no idea you are there at all. The truck's own trailer blocks the view and creates a huge blind spot.
  4. Avoid blind spots: These are on the sides and in the front, as well. The lanes right next to a truck can be hazardous. If you're worried that you are in a blind spot and the driver cannot see you, even with the mirrors, adjust your speed to move out of the area.
  5. Remember that large vehicles take farther to stop: If you suddenly change lanes at a stoplight and cut off a bus or a truck, you could cause a rear-end accident.

These tips can help, but they cannot prevent all semitruck crashes. Those who are injured in these accidents must know all of their legal options.

Source: FMCSA, "Tips for Driving Safely Around Large Trucks or Buses," accessed May 02, 2018

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