Sharing the road with large commercial trucks is very intimidating. However, it is possible to help ensure your safety around these behemoths by understanding how trucks operate and the ways they are different from commercial vehicles.
Since commercial vehicles are larger and heavier, they take longer to get up to speed and take longer to stop. Keeping yourself safe around trucks involves ensuring that you give them plenty of space and stay out of the truck’s blind spots.
How much space should I give a truck?
If you are driving around a truck, you should stay at least 30 feet behind the truck. If you wish to pass the truck because you are going faster, start your merge before you pass this 30-foot boundary. This is because if you are any closer to the truck then this, you are in a blind spot and the truck will not see you.
When you complete your merge, make sure that you are at least 20 feet in front. Being any closer risks you driving in the blind spot of the truck. Additionally, if anything happens and the truck needs to stop, you do not want it to rear end you.
What should I know about the blind spots?
In addition to the blind spots in front of and behind the truck, there are blind spots to either side. Of potential interest is the right side of the truck. The blind-spot on this side of the truck takes up two lanes of traffic. This is why you should always pass a truck on the left. There is still a blind spot on the left side of the truck, but it is only for one lane.