It should come as no surprise that there are many differences between the handling practices of large commercial trucks and those of smaller passenger vehicles. Most of us don’t have any experience driving big rigs, which means learning about them can be an important safety practice. Once you understand the theory behind how large trucks handle, you will know how to avoid dangerous situations that could lead to an accident.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recommends basic practices that can help both truckers and commuters stay safe on the road. These include:
- Avoiding the truck’s blind spots
- Ensuring that you give the truck plenty of space
- Leaving room for wide turns
Read on to learn more about each of the above tips.
What Should I Know About a Truck’s Blind Spots?
All cars have blind spots, but semi-truck drivers have larger ones than anyone in a passenger vehicle. Their blind spots may stretch for 30 feet behind the truck and up to 20 feet in front of their cab, depending on its size. If you end up in one of these blind spots, you should find your way out of it quickly.
Big trucks also have substantial blind spots on both sides, even with their extended mirrors. Typically, they cannot see one lane on the left side of the truck and two lanes on the right. This is why it is vital to always pass semi-trucks on the left and avoid driving next to a truck on either side unless you are in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
How Much Space Does a Big Truck Need to Turn?
Trucks take more space to round a corner than passenger vehicles do. Their average turning radius is around 55 feet. Drivers should give trucks sufficient space on both sides as they approach a turn. Never try to cut between a turning truck and the curb. Trucks may swing wide, but they need space both to the inside and outside to be able to turn safely.
Stay Safe—Leave Space
Due to their size and weight, large trucks simply need more handling room than passenger vehicles. This is true when turning, stopping, or being passed. As a driver, you should never cut anyone off, but this is especially important when driving near a big truck. Truckers simply are not able to stop or swerve around obstacles as easily as passenger vehicles. If you get in the way, you are likely to end up seriously hurt.
For those who are in accidents caused by truck drivers, reach out to a skilled attorney to learn how you can file for compensation. Aside from the significant property damage your vehicle is likely to suffer, truck accident victims might sustain severe injuries. If you were not at fault for your accident, ask how you can maximize your compensation to ensure you and your loved ones are cared for.