Semitrucks are a common sight on the interstates and city streets in Texas, but they’re significantly different than passenger vehicles in terms of height, weight, blind spots and many other factors. As such, the Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) has given some advice for how to drive around them.
First off, they warn against passing trucks on the right when they’re trying to turn. Technically, you may be able to fit your car between the curb and the semi, but the driver may have to make a wide turn to get the trailer around, and you could wind up driving into his or her blind spot.
Following distances are also important. Getting too close may put you in another spot where the driver can’t see you. Always stay at least two seconds back.
Trucks also have a blind spot directly in the front for about 20 feet. Try to stay out of it, especially if you’re changing lanes to get in front of the vehicle. Trucks take a long time to stop, and that’s even more problematic if the driver can’t see you.
If you are going to pass a truck — in the left lane of the interstate, for instance — stay in that left lane until both headlights are clearly visible when you check your rear view mirror. They’re high up and will be out of sight until you’re far enough in front of the truck for the driver to see you.
Naturally, even safe drivers can be involved in accidents when truck drivers make mistakes. If a reckless or negligent semi driver hit you and you suffered injuries as a result, you may be able to seek out compensation for things like medical costs, emergency transportation, lost wages and more.
Source: Texas Department of Transportation, “Highway Driving,” accessed April 14, 2017