What should I know about driving safely around trucks?

For many drivers, maneuvering around trucks is very intimidating. Trucks are far larger than the average passenger vehicle and, as a result, they handle much differently.

Understanding the differences between maneuvering around passenger vehicles and larger commercial vehicles is paramount for driver safety. As per the Federal Motor Carrier safety Administration, the blind spots on trucks are much larger and they turn much wider.

Blind spots

When driving around trucks, keep in mind that if you are too close behind a truck, you are directly in the blind spot. Remember that trucks do not have rear view mirrors in the same way that regular passenger vehicles do because the trailer of the truck blocks the view behind. This means that truckers must rely on their side view mirrors. If you are too close behind the truck, the driver will not see you.

This is why it is always good to put at least 30 feet between yourself and the truck at all times. If you want to pass the truck, always pass on the left side because the blind spot on the left side only takes up one lane of traffic. The blind spot on the right side of a truck takes up two lanes of traffic. This is why it is far more dangerous to pass on this side.

Wide turns

Trucks tend to swing much wider when they are making turns, particularly right hand turns. It is imperative that you never try to get between a turning truck and the curb. Even though the trailer of the truck may be swinging further out, it is likely the cab will trap you against the curb if you try this.