How to drive safely around large trucks

Traffic collisions involving large trucks account for a significant portion of the number of fatalities that occur on America roadways each year. In 2016 alone, 3,968 people died from large truck crashes, and a vast majority of those fatalities were people in the much smaller car.

Large trucks often weigh 20 or 30 times the amount of a standard sedan. There is also a greater likelihood the truck driver’s vision will become impaired due to another car falling within the blind spot. When you drive past a large truck, especially if it is late at night, you need to be extra vigilant to avoid an accident. While you can’t be sure truck drivers will always act safely behind the wheel, you can take your own steps to try to protect your safety when trucks are around.

Pass right away

Trucks normally travel in the right-most lane of the freeway. If you need to pass, you should do so quickly. Although trucks should stay in this lane, you never know when one will decide to switch. Do not linger in a potential blind spot longer than you have to.

Stay at a safe distance behind

In the event a large truck makes an unexpected move or blows a tire, you want to give yourself enough time and distance to react safely. This is especially true when you drive up an incline. If a truck stops on an incline, it could roll back before going forward. You want to remain a safe distance away, so the truck does not come into contact with your vehicle at all.

Never cut off a truck

It takes large trucks a greater distance to come to a halt. Therefore, if you need to pass a truck, you should avoid cutting it too close. Wait until you are a reasonable distance ahead of the truck before merging back into the other lane.

Be patient

Large trucks often move more slowly than the rest of traffic. Remember that it is always better to arrive at your destination late than not at all. Avoid making dangerous moves to try to speed things up.