Drivers of all kinds have to learn to share the road with semi-trucks, buses and large vehicles. If your job involves driving, you need to be cognizant of your surroundings at all times and give ample space between your vehicle and others.
Did you know?
• Semis have substantial blind spots so give them extra space
• Buses take longer to stop so be mindful when breaking or switching lanes
• Trucks make wide turns so stay farther away when you see them turning
• Learning how to operate around large trucks and buses will make you a better defensive driver
Follow these rules of the road to help you avoid problems when driving near trucks and buses:
1. Stay out of blind spots
A simple rule to follow is if you cannot see the side mirrors on a semi-truck, the driver cannot see you. Avoid driving in these blind spots by slowing down or moving ahead to stay visible.
2. Pass with caution
Before passing, make sure you can see the driver in the mirror. Signal first then move lanes, accelerating so you can get past the truck and out of the blind spot. Do not pass a truck or semi when on a downgrade because they will naturally tend to pick up speed.
3. Don’t cut in
The DOT (Department of Transportation) states that it takes buses and semi-trucks 40% longer on average to stop than a standard vehicle. Therefore, it is necessary to clear enough space between you and a truck or bus when passing in front of them because they might see you but may not have time to stop.
4. Back off
Nobody likes to be tailgated and that is especially true for trucks or large vehicles. Getting to close puts you in harm’s way because you are in their blind spot. It is particularly dangerous to get to close when on an upgrade where a bus or truck might roll back.
5. Expect wide turns
According to DOT, the turning radius of a semi-truck is 55 feet. Watch for signals and do not
squeeze by or get between the vehicle and the curb when a truck has a turn signal engaged.
On city street intersections, keep at least a cars length away from the stop block to allow the
truck ample turning radius.