Driving around huge commercial trucks can be hazardous, even for the most experienced drivers out there. So always ensure you’re taking extra precautions when doing so. The chances of getting into an accident with such vehicles increase because these trucks have bigger bind spots, take longer to slow down compared to normal cars, and can’t maneuver easily.

There are many different types of truck accidents that can occur. Fortunately, there are some simple actions you can take to avoid being involved in one. Here are some tips you can use to stay safe.

Avoiding Blind Spots

Large commercial trucks and other huge rigs have way bigger blind spots around the sides, back and front compared to the other more traditional passenger cars. Always avoid driving around the blind spots of a truck. Slow down or move ahead so that the driver of the truck can see you at all times when they look at their side mirrors.

Commercial vehicles usually have bigger side mirrors compared to the ones on normal cars, which means they are normally more susceptible to being negatively impacted by bright headlights. When driving behind a huge truck, dim the lights and set them to a standard low beam as you approach so that you don’t blind the truck driver.

Pass Safely

Passing other road users safely is always a good idea, no matter whether you’re passing a huge rig or just another passenger vehicle like yours. With that said, you need to be a bit more careful when doing it near huge commercial trucks. Why? Because these vehicles are typically very heavy, and large and can’t stop at the same speed as your passenger vehicle. Truck operators need a little more reaction time so that they can brake and adjust their speed accordingly.

When passing huge commercial vehicles, always do it from the left. This way, you make it easier for the truck driver to spot you. Keep a consistent speed during the pass, and always signal in advance and clearly.

Increase the Following Distance

Try to keep a driving distance of around 4 to 5 seconds between the truck and your vehicle. If you’re tailgating a huge truck, know that the driver ahead won’t be able to see you properly. If you’re rear-ended or can’t stop in time while traveling close to a big truck, your vehicle might be pushed underneath the rig – a type of car accident that normally tends to be devastating.

Keeping a safe distance between you and the truck also allows you to better react to rollovers of the truck as a result of high winds or tire blowouts. Also, if you’re behind a truck in traffic, leave some space in case the truck starts to roll backward.

Allow More Time

When you turn or change lanes near a huge commercial vehicle, make sure you activate your signals early so that you can give the truck driver sufficient time to react to what you intend to do and even stop if need be.

When merging, don’t move in front of a huge rig if upcoming traffic could end up stopping abruptly or slowing down. Commercial vehicles, as highlighted earlier, often take much longer to slow down compared to passenger cars, and sudden lane switches might not provide the truck driver with sufficient time to try and avoid a collision.

Defensive Driving

Practice the art of driving defensively when driving next to semi-trailer trucks and other huge commercial vehicles. Truck drivers typically have strict and firm operating rules they need to abide by. They’re also known to use many different regulating devices, for example, speed limiters (instruments designed to restrict speed).

Aggressive driving, honking, and recklessly maneuvering through traffic won’t make the truck driver drive faster. Instead, all it could result in is you getting into an accident.