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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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