As a teen, you’ve been taught about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving for as long as you can remember. While adhering to these warnings is essential, it is equally as important that you understand other rules of the road, such as sharing it with 80,000-pound semis. One wrong maneuver can put you and other drivers in jeopardy. How can you stay safe?
Here are three tips for new drivers to take control and avoid a catastrophe with a semi.
Steer clear of blind spots
By this point you can locate your blind spots with ease, but what about the blind spots of an 18-wheeler? Truckers have limited visibility and there are “no zones” that you should avoid at all costs. Such no zones include 30 feet behind and 20 feet in front of a semi and it is critical that you are aware of them at all times. If you need to pass a truck, try to do so as quickly and as safely as possible.
Beware of wide turns
If you’re around a truck that’s making a turn, you should exercise caution. Trucks require more space to turn the average vehicle. In fact, they can require as much as 55 feet of turning room. As such, it is always a good rule of thumb to keep away from a turning semi to prevent injury.
Ensure they can safely come to a stop
Think of the length of your high school’s football field. Now double that. At 65 mph, a semi will have to travel the length of nearly two football fields to come to a complete stop, assuming the roads are clear. Before passing in front of a truck, signal and give the trucker adequate time to adjust their speed accordingly.
The best way to remember road etiquette around semis is to practice. The next time you see a semi on the road, locate their blind spots and pay attention to the space they leave between the car in front of them. No matter what vehicles you share the road with, never let your guard down and avoid taking risks while you’re behind the wheel.