Getting into an accident with any vehicle is potentially deadly. However, if the other vehicle is a semi truck or other commercial vehicle, this causes the likelihood of catastrophic injury or death to rise exponentially. This is why it is vital to understand how to conduct yourself around commercial vehicles.
Passing semi trucks safely involves some understanding of the ways in which a semi truck handles differently from a traditional passenger vehicle. First, you must understand the difference in blind spot size, and secondly you should know how much space to give a semi truck in order to complete the pass safely.
Understanding blind spots
The key takeaway regarding blind spots and semi trucks is that the blind spot on the right side of a semi truck often encompasses two full lanes of traffic. What this means is that passing a semi truck on the right is extraordinarily dangerous because it is likely that the driver will not notice you.
It is good driving practice to pass any vehicle on the left, but when passing semi trucks, this could be the difference between a safe ride and a catastrophic accident.
Cutting anyone off is not good driving practice, no matter what vehicle they are in, but the size and weight of semi trucks means they have less maneuverability as compared to smaller passenger vehicles. A semi truck may slam on its brakes but still require at least 20 feet to come to a complete stop. If you are in that space, you risk injury.
If traffic allows, make sure to give semi trucks plenty of space and also pass them on the left.