3 tips for safely sharing the road with 18-wheelers

It’s natural to be anxious when sharing the road with large trucks. This is because driving around large trucks isn’t the same as driving around normal-sized cars. 18-wheelers can weigh approximately 80,000 pounds, and this extra weight makes it hard for them to brake quickly.

Unfortunately, accidents involving big rigs almost always cause serious injuries, disability and even death. Therefore, learning how to share the roads with these trucks safely is important to prevent a collision. Here are a few things you should remember when sharing the road with 18-wheelers.

1. Avoid a truck’s blind spots

Generally, big rigs have more blind spots than small passenger vehicles. This can make it difficult for a trucker to see approaching vehicles. Therefore, when sharing the road with big rigs, try to steer clear of the following blind spots:

  • 20 feet in front of the commercial truck
  • 30 feet behind the trailer
  • One lane to the left of the truck extending to half the length of the trailer
  • Two lanes to the right

In addition, remember a truck driver may not see you if your vehicle isn’t visible in the truck’s mirrors.  

2. Don’t pass a truck on the right

Passing an 18-wheeler on the right is dangerous because these trucks have to steer widely to the left when making a right turn. This leaves more room on the right, and you may be tempted to pass. However, when you do this, the truck may crash into your car as it turns right. 

3. Give a truck space

When sharing the roads with 18-wheelers, ensure that you give them ample space. This is because big rigs require more space than other smaller vehicles. In addition, driving too close to a big truck increases your risk of getting into an accident. This may happen when:

  • A tire blows and hits your car
  • The truck breaks suddenly, causing your car to slide under its trailer

Ensure that you always drive at a safe distance behind an 18-wheeler to give you enough space and time to react to sudden truck movements.

The above tips can help you share roads safely with 18-wheelers. However, it’s not always possible to prevent a crash. If you’re unfortunate enough to collide with a big rig, consider seeking legal guidance when making a claim for damages.