Safely Driving Near Trucks: Tips From blog: Safely Driving Near Trucks: Tips From

Driving down a highway at high speeds and coming close to a freight truck or another large commercial vehicle can be intimidating. Many drivers complain about how close a truck can come to their vehicles, or how much anxiety they feel when trying to pass a large commercial vehicle. If you’re a driver who sometimes experiences anxiety or frustration when encountering large freight trucks, you may just need to learn some tips for proper handling around these large vehicles. The experts at want all drivers to feel comfortable on the highway, even when a freight truck is close. Here are four important tips to consider when driving near freight trucks.

Don't Cut Off a Truck

If you see your highway exit approaching quickly, it may be tempting to change lanes abruptly so you don’t miss it. However, if there’s a freight truck anywhere in your vicinity, you’re best taking your time changing lanes, and getting off at the next exit. Freight trucks don’t have the ability to slam on brakes quickly to avoid rear-ending you if you cut the driver off.

For large buses, it can take 40 percent more time than a regular vehicle to stop when they’ve been cut off. The experts at recommend taking your time changing lanes on a highway that has trucks, so you don’t cause a truck driver to slam on the brakes unnecessarily. It’s also important to note that changing into a truck’s lane causes you to enter the driver’s blind spot. This means the truck driver won’t be able to see you at all for a few seconds until you’re right in front of him or her. If the truck is accelerating, it could lead to a serious accident.

Stay Far Away

Keeping your distance when you’re behind a freight truck or a large commercial vehicle is another way to play it safe while on the road. Getting too close to a truck can be extremely dangerous because, again, the driver won’t be able to see you and your vehicle. Most trucks are high off the ground and are much taller than the average car. If a freight truck has to stop short for any reason and you don’t see it in time, or simply can’t stop in time, your vehicle can easily slide underneath the truck. Vehicles that follow trucks too closely are more susceptible to this type of dangerous accident. When you’re stopped in traffic or at a red light, it’s also important to keep your distance. Trucks can roll backward before they accelerate, putting your car in danger of being hit by a commercial vehicle.

Give Trucks the Space for Wide Turns

Commercial and freight trucks need a lot of extra space when they make turns. Whether they’re turning onto a street or off a highway exit, it’s important to give the driver plenty of room to maneuver the vehicle. The team at suggests nixing the possibility of changing lanes or speeding up to pass as soon as you see a truck employing the turn signal. Staying out of the way of a turning truck is the only way to avoid getting caught in a blind spot, or being hit by the truck while it navigates a wide turn.

Stay Out of Blind Spots

There are several blind spots present for trucks or buses, especially those with extra freight. The general rule of thumb is that when you can’t see a truck’s rearview mirrors or make eye contact with the driver, you should assume the driver can’t see you. Since a truck is high up from the ground and has a long tail-end, it’s impossible for drivers to see all sides and angles of the road around them. When you’re passing a truck, try to get out of the truck’s blind spot as soon as you can and back to a spot where you can see the truck’s rearview mirrors. The team at suggests that drivers never slow down while passing trucks. It’s crucial to maintain speed until you’ve completely passed and are out of the blind spot.