4 tips for driving safely near trucks

As the holidays draw closer, you and your family will probably be traveling to visit relatives and friends, maybe quite a distance away. You will not be the only ones on the road though. Not only will other families be traveling at this time of year, but there will be a lot of trucks too. Here are four tips on how to keep your family safe around trucks on the road.

Tip #1: Leave room when you or a truck is entering the freeway.

If you are travelling for any significant distance, you will inevitably drive on the freeway at some point, which is where trucks abound. If you are entering the freeway when a truck is nearby, pay attention to how quickly the truck is approaching and how much room you have to enter. Either speed up or slow down accordingly to make sure that there is room between you and the truck.

If a truck is entering the freeway as you are driving, the safest thing to do is move to an outer lane if possible. However, if you can’t switch lanes safely, either speed up or slow down to give the truck ample space to merge.

Tip #2: Never drive in a truck’s blind spots.

This is perhaps the most important rule of driving near trucks. Trucks have large blind spots called the No-Zone on either side of them and for quite a distance behind and in front of them. If you drive in these No-Zones, the trucker is not able to see you, which can lead to highly dangerous situations such as a truck driver switching lanes while you are next to them because they didn’t know you were there.

As a general rule of thumb, the trucker cannot see you if you cannot see the truck’s side mirrors. Avoid driving in the No-Zones for any extended period of time.

Tip #3: Pass quckly, and only on the left.

Because trucks have blind spots on either side of them, you do not want to linger next to a truck. If you are going to pass a truck, make sure the driver can see you first by leaving room behind the truck and switching lanes. Pass quickly and put distance between you and the truck before switching lanes again, because trucks have blind spots in front of them and need longer to slow down than other vehicles if needed.

Never pass a truck on the right. This is very dangerous and the driver is even less likely to see you.

Tip #4: Keep your distance when trucks turn.

Trucks make very wide turns and usually have to swing out farther than cars at an intersection. Sometimes trucks will even turn right from the middle lane so that they have room to make the turn. Being inside a truck’s turning zone is very dangerous. Watch for signals about which way a truck is planning to turn and give them plenty of room to maneuver.