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How to Safely Share the Road with a Semi

Posted by Jordan Wilson on Jul 6, 2017 2:50:55 PM

 

Sharing the Road with Semis

We’ve all been on a highway waiting on a semi to pass in the left lane thinking, “Why is this taking so long??”

Sharing the road with a big rig is inevitable these days. After all, there are 5.6 million tractor trailers registered for use in the U.S.

But, there are ways to make things better and safer for all parties involved.

We can start by understanding a few things about semi trucks.

According to a blog by Nationwide, due to their size:

  • Their blind spot is bigger
  • They need more space to maneuver
  • They require more time and distance to stop
  • It takes more time to pass them

NEVER ride alongside them. First, they have a large blind spot on their sides. Second, semis are notorious for blowing tires. At worst, a blown tire can knock you off the road. At the very least, the sound (as loud as a gunshot) can scare you, maybe even enough to make you lose control of your vehicle. Third, semis have a lot of surface area. Getting blown around by the wind is a real risk that can result in drifting into your lane.

Always pass them on the left side. If they’re in the left lane, it’s for a reason. Either they’re passing a slower car, an emergency vehicle is on the right side or there is road work requiring left lane travel.

When passing them, try and give them a decent amount of space before you get back in the right lane. A good rule of thumb is to wait until you can see the pavement in front of the bumper. They need to leave a wide berth in order to have enough time to brake if something were to happen. And, you do NOT want to be in front of an eighteen wheeler when he/she doesn't have enough space to brake.

If you see a truck's turn signal, do your best to get out of the way by either speeding up or slowing down to let him/her pass. Of course we are all trying to get off the road as fast as possible, but being on the road is their livelihood. And, usually, if you are polite to them, they'll be polite to you.

Truck drivers spend a ton of time on the road with four-wheelers. And, accidents between a car and a tractor trailer can be fatal. According to statistics from Women In Trucking, 79% of all accidents involving semi-trucks are caused by car drivers. 

Avoiding an accident with an eighteen wheeler is always a good idea. Let's share the road in a way that gets us all there safely.

 

To learn about how SmartDrive cameras can alert safety teams to drowsy drivers, proximity violations and unsafe following, check out our blog on /smartdrive-camera-implementation!

 

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