Motorists have a responsibility to proactively think about situations that may happen. Being aware of road conditions minimizes the likelihood of accidents.
Driving near an 18-wheeler is different than sharing the road with a standard-sized vehicle. Since the truck is bigger, keep in mind that its blind spot is bigger—and often in multiple areas. Truck drivers also need more space to maneuver, and more time and distance to stop. When conditions are safe to pass, consider that it’ll require more time to pass a semitruck than a car—so give yourself a buffer. Other tips to keep in mind include:
- Pass with caution, ideally on the left side of the truck for maximum visibility.
- Lower your brights when you come within one block of an oncoming vehicle.
- Signal at least three seconds before changing lanes, stopping or turning.
- Practice patience and avoid unpredictable moves—like speeding around the truck—if traffic isn’t moving as fast as you’d like.
Learn your local traffic rules and abide by them. Safe driving starts with mutual respect and consideration among all drivers—no matter how much space their vehicle is taking up on the road.