Getting into any motor vehicle accident has the potential to be deadly, but if the other vehicle happens to be a semi truck the possibility of a severe crash goes up exponentially. It is important to understand how to drive responsibly around semi trucks to stay safe.
One of the biggest problems is that people who drive regular cars do not understand the differences between a car and a semi truck other than size. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, understanding how large the blind spots are on a semi truck can help you drive safely around them.
What should I know about these blind spots?
The blind spots on a semi truck can extend to 20 feet in front of the truck and 30 feet behind it. The blind spot on the left side of a semi truck is a bit smaller as it only encompasses one lane of traffic. However, the blind spot on the right side of a semi truck is far larger: it spans two entire lanes of traffic.
It is imperative for passenger vehicles to only pass semi trucks on the left hand side as the blind spot is far smaller. Another good rule to remember is that if you cannot see the mirrors of a semi truck, the driver cannot see you.
How can I pass a semi truck safely?
In addition to never passing on the right, it is vital that you give a semi-truck plenty of space. Due to the size of a semi-truck, they require much more time to slow down and stop as compared to regular passenger vehicles. Giving the semi-truck a wide berth on all sides if at all possible is a good idea.