Did you know that semi-trucks normally weigh over 10,000 pounds? Yup, you read that correctly. These massive vehicles often take up quite a bit of space on the road, and the various blind spots that surround them can add up to a recipe for disaster if you don’t stay a safe distance from them.
To minimize the likelihood that you will get in an accident involving a semi-truck, we’ve gathered together a few tips on how to safely share the road with them.
Stay a safe distance behind.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to leave plenty of space between you and a semi-truck. This helps to avoid being in their path of travel if they need to suddenly halt, swerve, or merge. Tire blowouts and obstacles blocking the road are more common than you might think, so keeping a 5-10 seconds distance between you and a semi-truck is an essential safety precaution to take.
Speed up to pass them.
If you’re stuck behind or beside a semi-truck that’s too slow for your liking, make sure you accelerate to pass them quickly and safely without being in their blind spots for too long. The right side of a semi-truck is the biggest blind spot for all commercial drivers, so you should especially make sure that you’re not staying beside a semi-truck for any longer than you need to in order to pass it. When a semi-truck driver is unable to see you, this puts you in a dangerous and vulnerable position in the event he or she decides to merge or maneuver around anything.
Never merge directly in front of them.
Since semi-trucks are so big, they take a much longer time to come to a complete stop than smaller vehicles. This means that you should make sure that the semi-truck’s front is entirely in your view before you even consider merging in front of one. It can take up to the length of two football fields for a semi-truck in motion to stop, particularly when it’s moving at a high speed.
Signal in advance.
Because it takes a longer time for semi-trucks to merge, maneuver, and stop, it is smart to always signal at least four-five seconds in advance when you’re planning on merging or halting on the road. Making sure that the semi-truck drivers see what you’re planning to do and have ample time to react is key.
If you ever are in an accident with a semi-truck or find yourself by the side of the road in need of a tow, give Tow Pro a call at 615.256.TOWS(8697). Our tow trucks can tow vehicles of any size, and we’re available 24/7 to come to the rescue.