Today’s topic of discussion will be what truck drivers want other drivers to know. Whether handling a semi-truck or passenger vehicle, every driver knows that even while practicing safe driving, other drivers can cause accidents. It’s impossible to control what another driver will do. For that reason, driving defensively at all times is everyone’s best bet. Legally, semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, 20 times the size of passenger vehicles. No one wants to experience being side-railed by a semi-truck with that thought in mind. Every driver can do their part to keep the roads safe. Here is what truck drivers want other drivers to know.
Truck Drivers Want You to Know Not to Follow Too Closely
Trucks take up more space than smaller vehicles. They’re also more elevated. If you’re driving under 40 MPH, you should leave at least one second every ten feet of vehicle length, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). According to their recommendation, if you’re behind a truck, you should leave a distance of four seconds. If you’re traveling more than 40 MPH, you’ll want to add a second.
If you don’t keep this distance and drive behind a semi-truck, you won’t have enough time to stop. The result could be a severe accident with the car underneath the truck. In addition, if you’re too close behind a large vehicle with tires that blow out, your windshield or other car parts could be hit and damaged. Another danger is that a truck caught in a winter storm could swerve or fall.
Never Be in a Truck’s Blind Spots
Keep one-lane width on the driver’s side and a two-lane width on their passenger side. If you’re in front of a truck driver, maintain a 20-foot distance, and while behind them, keep a 30-foot gap. Since a semi-truck is larger than passenger vehicles, its blind spots are also larger. Semi-trucks have signs posted on the back that if you can’t see the driver in their side mirror, they can’t see you either.
When a Truck Driver Turns, Do Not Pass Them
Avoid a truck driver’s “no-zones.” When a trucker turns, they need additional space to do so safely. A driver might need more than one lane to execute their turn. In addition, if you attempt to pass a truck on the same side when it’s making a right turn, you risk your car being trapped between the vehicle and a curb and facing severe injuries.
Maintain Your Speed
Large vehicles cannot quickly adapt to inconsistent speeds. It takes a lot of distance to slow down or come to a complete stop. We suggest driving at a consistent speed and avoiding making sudden movements with your car.
Ideally, we could say that this tip goes without saying. However, distracted driving is all too common. As you head to your destination, always think of others trying to arrive at their destination in one piece. Even a split second of not paying attention could cause an accident.
Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star for All of Your Trucking Needs
Whether you are looking to upgrade your fleet to tow trucks or simply interested in the latest trucking technology, you can rely on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star, a new truck dealer. We have provided top-notch service for the trucking industry for 30 years and would love to assist you in buying a new top-of-the-line truck, finding the specialty parts you need, or repairing your truck. Give us a call toll-free at 800-832-7278 or locally at 410-685-4474, or contact us online. To find out more about what we are up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.