Whether you typically drive on the highway or if you stick to the quite streets of your hometown, you have come across large 18-wheel semi-trucks before. These massive vehicles may seem intimidating to drive next to but they will not pose a safety hazard to other drivers if everyone learns to share the road with them. Trucks of this size are essential to the shipping industry, so we might as well learn how to drive with them as safely as possible.
Visibility is Key
Visibility is one of the most important things to consider when you are sharing the road with a semi-truck. We always advise drivers to be mindful of blind spots. This is even more important when you are driving on the highway next to semi-trucks. The drivers of these vehicles sit up very high, so it can be difficult for them to see small cars. Pass semi-trucks on the left-hand side whenever you are able to ensure maximum visibility.
Give them Space
It is also very important that you avoid lingering to the side of an 18-wheeler. Stay behind them, or pass them. Don’t drive to the side of them! If you are not close to a semi-truck, then a semi-truck cannot hit you. At times semi-trucks drift in their lanes more than other vehicles. This is because their wide profiles make them more susceptible to strong winds. It can be even more dangerous to drive alongside a semi-truck on a narrow road. Avoid this whenever you can.
This is a good habit, no matter what type of vehicle you are driving next to. Use your turn signals to clearly communicate with other drivers on the road. If you are changing lanes and moving in front of a semi-truck, make sure you are giving them ample space. Given their size, they are unable to slow down as quickly as you can. To avoid a collision make sure you are visible to the semi-truck driver and that they are aware of any future lane changes you plan to make.