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Semi-trucks go by various names: semi-trailers, big rigs, eighteen-wheelers, tractor-trailers, or simply, semis.
No matter how you refer to them, driving around a semi can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you end up in between a few of them. But just because you are nervous doesn’t mean that you can’t be safe. Here are a few things that you can do to stay safe around semi-trucks.
Since semi-trucks are so large, their drivers can’t see everything around them. The areas behind a semi and in some spots next to it are complete blind spots, especially if you are in a smaller car. While truckers try to take every precaution they can when switching lanes, sometimes they just can’t see you. To avoid getting side-swiped by a semi, just don’t be there! Stay out of the blind spots as much as possible. If you can’t see the driver in their mirror, chances are that they can’t see you either.
When turning, semi-trucks will take up a lot of space with their wide turns that may seem a little excessive. Many semis have signs posted on the rear of their trailers informing other drivers to remain cautious because of these turns. Semis almost always signal when they are turning, so be aware of that. Never try to pass them on the side that they are turning, especially if it is on the right. Because of their size, semis often cross over extra lanes as they are turning before they are able to straighten out, so be sure to give them as much space as you possibly can.
Tailgating or cutting off a semi is incredibly dangerous, and one of the best ways to get in an accident. According to Page Law, driver error is the most common cause of accidents involving semis, so give them enough space that you won’t be part of that error. Semis require a lot more space to stop, so cutting one off may lead to you being run over. If you are tailgating, there is no way to see what is happening in front of you, so if the semi stops suddenly, you probably won’t react in time. Since semis are higher off the ground, there is a decent chance your car will slide under the truck, causing more damage and injuries.
One of the biggest things that you can do to stay safe around semi-trucks is to exercise patience. These are big vehicles, and they don’t speed up, slow down, or maneuver as well as cars do. Truckers have certain rules that they have to abide by that ordinary motorists don’t. It can be frustrating to be stuck behind one or next to one, but getting angry will only make things worse.
Part of driving means driving around semi-trucks. Instead of getting stressed out about it, learn how to drive safely around semi-trucks and your life will be much easier.