How To Safely Share the Road with Large Trucks

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Do you clutch the wheel a little tighter as you pass a semi or other large trucks? You’re not alone. Semis and large trucks navigate the roadways differently than other vehicles. Learning what they need — and what you can do — can help you safely share the road with large trucks.

What’s Different About Driving Large Trucks or Semis

Drivers of heavy trucks face a few difficulties on the road, including:

  • Reduced field of vision. Truck drivers have multiple blind spots on both sides, in front of and behind their trucks.
  • Longer stopping time. A large truck’s size and weight increases its stopping distance. For example: If large trucks are going 65 miles per hour, they could need up to 200 yards — nearly the length of two football fields — to stop.
  • Slower reactions. Most vehicles can merge quickly. Large trucks can’t because of size.
  • Wind vulnerability. Semis have a lot of surface area, making them harder to control when the wind picks up.
  • Wide turns. Large trucks need plenty of room to make turns — especially right turns.

What You Can Do

Follow these tips to safely share the road with large trucks.

  • Pass safely. Always pass on the left — the blind spot is smaller on this side — and maintain a steady speed.
  • Give them space. Keep a safe following distance — four seconds or more — between you and large trucks to help avoid dangerous situations, such as sudden stops (and subsequent rear-ending), a truck rollover over in high wind, a tire blowout or a wide truck turn. Note: If you can’t see the trucks mirrors, they can’t see you.
  • Be aware. Stay alert at all times, and keep your proximity to large trucks in mind as you share the road. In a smaller vehicle, you can maneuver more quickly which can help you stay out of danger.

Author: Late Night Parents

We're the late show of parenting! These are the community posts for members of the Late Night Parenting team.

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