Driving on the highway often means riding alongside big rigs. While you may feel safe staying in your lane, traveling next to a big truck for too long may put you in a blind spot where the driver cannot see you.
Minding traffic laws, staying observant and using caution will improve your control and response if you must react suddenly. Your understanding of what hazards to watch for around big trucks can protect you from danger.
Increase following distance
Large trucks take significantly longer to slow down and stop than smaller passenger vehicles. If you cut off a big truck it could plow into your rear and cause substantial property damage. A serious incident could leave you fighting for your life. Similarly, following a truck too closely puts you at a much higher risk of severe injury or death if you cannot stop in time and crash into the back of it. Increase your following distance whenever driving near large trucks to protect yourself.
Avoid blind spots
The length and size of a big rig can make it impossible to see around the truck. While big rig drivers receive special training that instructs them about how to maximize visibility, blind spots are an inevitable outcome. A good rule of thumb from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is to make sure you can always see the driver’s face in the side mirror of the truck to know you are out of the blind spot.
Make good choices
Fasten your seatbelt every time you get behind the wheel. Adjust your seat to a comfortable position and avoid all distractions. Stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings. If you do have to react suddenly, your responsible driving habits might end up saving your life.