Anyone who has ever traveled on a freeway or highway has probably come into range of a large truck or semi. These vehicles are massive in comparison to smaller passenger vehicles, so it makes sense that drivers may feel wary when they approach larger trucks.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration explains that it’s important to give large trucks enough space around them. Doing so makes it possible for the driver to see your vehicle by keeping the blind spots clear. Additionally, staying a distance away from the vehicle may give the driver more time to slow down or maneuver when necessary.
Large trucks have four main blind spots
When you approach a semitruck from the back, remember that there are four blind spots that you need to keep your vehicle out of. The first blind spot is directly behind the vehicle. If you are close enough to the back that you can’t see the driver’s mirrors, the driver cannot see you.
Two additional blind spots run along the sides of a semi. These are areas in which the mirror is angled in a way that it will miss any vehicles next to the truck, and the driver won’t see them when looking over, either.
The fourth blind spot is in front of the truck. If you weave in front of the truck too closely, the driver won’t be able to see you over the front hood.
Stopping distances are a challenge for large truck drivers
Another reason you need to give more space to large trucks is because of their stopping distances. Trucks, buses and other large vehicles need more time to stop, so you’ll want to be several car lengths ahead of the vehicle at all times.
Turns become problematic for truck drivers
Due to the shape of a large truck, drivers often have trouble turning and staying in the correct lane when turning right. They may swing wide to make enough room for their trailers. Passenger vehicle drivers should stay behind the white lines painted on the road to give them enough room to turn.
These are a few reasons why you need to be aware of large trucks and maintain your distance. Staying away could help you avoid a truck crash.