What can you do to safely share the road with semis?

It is almost inevitable that you will find yourself on the road next to a tractor trailer. Although truck drivers undergo training to drive safely and must abide by certain regulations set in place to reduce the risk of accidents, you also play a role in facilitating a safe driving experience. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there are a few things you can do to safely share the road with semis in Texas and anywhere else you drive.

The length and overall size of trucks means that they have more blind spots than a traditional passenger vehicle. It is helpful to make sure that you can see the driver, as this means he or she most likely can see you. Anytime you cannot see the driver or otherwise find yourself in one of the blind spots, referred to as “no zones,” you should quickly move out of it by either slowing down or speeding up. There are four places of which to be aware that the driver cannot see you when you drive next to or pass by a truck.

It takes more time for trucks to speed up and slow down due to their significant weight. Therefore, it is important to avoid getting too close to trucks. If you brake too suddenly in front of a truck, it may not be able to stop fast enough to avoid a collision. When you pass a truck, ensure that you have given yourself more space than you would a normal vehicle, which should be around four car lengths.

As you drive on the highways or other roads, it can be tempting to tailgate the vehicles in front of you. However, getting too close to semis is significantly more dangerous than tailgating a smaller vehicle. You need to have plenty of time to react in case there is any problem and be able to see the road in front of the truck. Leaving 20-25 car lengths is recommended. 

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