Sharing the Texas highways and interstates with big rig beast bearing down on your rear bumper can be quite nerve-racking and anxiety-producing.
Semitrucks don’t navigate the road the same way that passenger vehicles do. For instance, truck drivers have reduced fields of vision and numerous blind spots that are known as “no go zones.” These blind spots are located on either side of the trailer, as well as directly behind and in front of the trucks. Drivers should never linger long in a truck’s no go zones. When passing, do so as quickly as possible and get out of the truck’s way.
Big rigs take much longer to come to complete stops, especially when hauling a fully-loaded trailer. A truck traveling at speeds of 65 mph can take as much as 200 yards to stop, which is twice the length of a football field.
Passenger vehicles can zip in between lanes as they jockey for position on the interstate. But the sheer size of an 18-wheeler precludes such quick evasive actions for truck drivers.
High winds pose special dangers for large trucks, as their large surface areas cause them to be especially difficult to control when the wind gusts.
Wide turns. Large trucks need plenty of room to make turns—especially right turns.
Learn to safely share the roads with large trucks
Follow these tips to ensure your — and others’ — safety while on the road with big rigs.
- Give truck drivers enough room to navigate. Allow four seconds worth of time between their rear and your front bumpers.
- Use a truck’s mirrors to gauge no-go zones. If you are unable to see the mirrors, the trucker is unable to see you.
- Only pass on the left at a steady rate of speed. The left side has a smaller bling spot.
- Remain alert to dangerous conditions that can require quick maneuvers to remain out of the path of an out-of-control large truck.
If you get injured in a collision with a semitruck driver, learn what avenues to compensation are available to you.
Source: State Farm, “Safely Share the Road with Large Trucks,” accessed Aug. 25, 2017