Semi-trucks, sometimes called big rigs, are a common sight along the highways of North Carolina. They’re crucial for transporting goods and merchandise and usually make long hauls to do so. But because of their size, they can be intimidating to share the road with.
If you’re not careful, semi-trucks can also be dangerous. Though you can’t control how attentive or reliable a semi-truck driver is, there are safety measures you can take to help avoid devastating collisions.
1. Stay out of a truck’s blind spots
The length and size of a big rig truck means that it has several blind spots. These danger zones can lead to catastrophic accidents if you find yourself lingering in them.
Generally, a truck’s blind spots are located along the sides and directly behind and in front of them. The right side in particular is a large blind spot that can span two lanes because the driver sits on the opposite side of the truck.
To avoid cruising in a truck driver’s blind spots, signal clearly and pass them quickly and cautiously. Also, avoid tailgating by giving yourself plenty of space between the front end of your vehicle and the back end of a truck. A helpful tip to remember is that if you can’t see the truck driver in their side mirrors, chances are they can’t see you either.
2. Be mindful of turn lanes
Semi-trucks take wide turns. So, they need ample room from all drivers for making both left and right-handed turns. If there are two turn lanes available, a truck will most likely be in the furthest lane from the curb or the centerline depending on which way they’re turning.
When you pull up on the inside of a truck that needs to make a turn, chances are when they make their wide turn, they’ll hit you. It’s better to remain behind a truck rather than try to squeeze past them.
3. Avoid cutting in front of a truck
Cutting off a truck can result in a collision for a number of reasons. Semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles take longer to come to a stop. So, if you cut in front of them unexpectedly, they won’t have the time they need to slow down and avoid rear-ending you.
Additionally, as mentioned above, cutting directly in front of a semi-truck means you’re moving right into one of their blind spots. Before pulling in front of a semi-truck, always make sure you can see the full front of the truck in your side mirrors. Even then, it never hurts to wait a little longer to leave an extra cushion between you.
Remembering these tips and using caution in the presence of big rig trucks can help you stay safe while sharing the road with semis.