When you drive down a highway in California, you are bound to be sharing your space with at least one semi truck. It’s important to understand that these large vehicles have limitations that you may not. Larger blind spots, longer stopping distances and an inability to maneuver as easily as a smaller vehicle make knowing how to share the road with these vehicles essential.
By focusing on your safety, you can drive around semi trucks with little to no issue. Read on to discover how you can avoid experiencing a problem with a semi truck on your next commute.
1. Know the Zones
You are well aware of the blind spots surrounding your vehicle. You even adjust your mirrors to make the blind spots smaller. A trucker doesn’t have this luxury. There are blind spots surrounding a semi truck that could seem enormous to the driver of a typical vehicle. Staying out of these no zones is imperative for your safety.
A truck has a blind spot on each side of its trailer, in the front of the cab and behind the vehicle. To the left, the blind spot extends diagonally across one lane. To the right, it extends diagonally across two lanes. There is a blind spot that extends approximately 20 feet in front of the cab and one that extends about 30 feet behind the trailer. If you can’t see a driver’s eyes in one of the truck’s side mirrors, assume the driver can’t see you.
2. Pass Cautiously
Be careful when passing a truck. It’s always a good idea to do so if you are able, but you don’t want to cut off a semi. Wait to get in front of the truck until you can see the driver’s face in your rearview mirror. When you can see the driver’s face, they can see your car. If you can, pull even a little further ahead. A truck driver won’t be able to stop in time if you are too close and have to hit the breaks for any reason.
3. Stay Far Back
Never tailgate a semi truck. Doing so will put you squarely in one of the truck’s blind spots. Additionally, if you are hit from behind by another vehicle, it could push you under the trailer of the truck, causing severe injury and devastating damage to your vehicle. Always remember that a truck has a propensity to roll back slightly. If you are stopped too closely to the back end of a semi on a hill or steep grade, it could hit your car.
4. Watch Wide Turns
A truck needs more room to turn. It doesn’t matter if it is turning alongside you or turning and heading in your direction. Give a semi as much room as possible when you notice that the driver intends to change directions.
A semi-truck accident in San Luis Obispo can be catastrophic. If you have been involved in such an accident and the truck’s driver was found to be at fault, reach out to our office to schedule a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your financial losses.