Top 5 Ways to Drive Safely Around Trucks

Posted on Saturday, September 5th, 2020 at 7:11 pm    

  1. Give trucks and 18-wheelers PLENTY of space.  Do not tailgate them or drive slowly in front of them.
  2. Pass trucks and 18-wheelers on the LEFT.   Trucks and 18-wheelers have huge blind spots (also called “No Zones”).  Trucks have much larger blind spots on the right side (the slow lanes) than they do on the left side (where the truck driver sits).  if you pass on the right side, you are invisible to truck driver for a large portion of your journey past the truck.
  3. Prepare for evasive driving because of tire blowouts.  18-wheelers have 14 more wheels than passenger vehicles (duh) and those 18 wheels carry up to 80,000 lbs on them.  They are constantly being driven and endure much more wear and tear than normal tires so the blow out frequently.  When 18-wheeler tire blowouts occur, a huge, long, heavy piece of rubber reinforced with steel flys up into the air.  Have a plan for how you can safety drive past a flying obstruction.
  4. Trucks are much taller than cars and have a tall and long wind surface.  When it is windy, trucks float within and across lanes of traffic.  A passenger or SUV’s wind profile is much lower than a trucks and if you are feeling any kind of wind shift, the effect is amplified exponentially for an 18-wheeler.  Prepare for the drift in wind!
  5. Stay far back when you see a turn signal on if off the highway.  Trucks and 18-wheelers make very wide turns.  You can get caught in the pincher grip if you follow too closely.  Remember tip #2, there are huge blind spots on the right hand side.  Do not get up close on the right when you see a truck with its right turn signal on.  You will likely get hit by the trailer swinging around.
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