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Staying safe when sharing the road with large trucks

Driving on the roads with cars and small trucks is one thing. But driving next to huge semi trucks and buses is quite another.

These extra-large vehicles have long stopping distances, huge blind spots, and limited maneuverability. This means that when you're driving next to them, you need to put yourself in charge of safety. Here are some tips for doing just that.

Take care when passing

When you attempt to pass a large vehicle, make sure to always signal and check that you are able to see the driver in the mirror before you begin to move to the other lane. When you do begin to pass, accelerate at a quick clip so that you can promptly get past the track and get back into the right lane. When pulling back in front of the truck or bus, always give the vehicle extra space, and be sure to signal.

Make sure you're outside of 'no zones'

"No zones" are giant blind spots that huge vehicles have. They are 20 feet ahead of these vehicles, two lanes to the right, one lane to the left, and 30 feet behind. Always stay out of these "no zones" when you can. Drivers can't see you here.

Watch out for wide turns

Big trucks and buses make big turns. Anticipate these turns by never attempting to squeeze by while a large vehicle is turning, and also avoid "blocking the box." This means stopping way ahead in the front of the line at intersections, which blocks out space that these vehicles need in order to turn safely.

Other Tips

Finally, don't forget a few other driving tips that should be followed at all times:

  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Never drive when you're tired.
  • Always stay focused on the road, and don't try to multitask while driving.

By following all these tips, you'll be sure to stay safe on the road -- even when driving with big trucks and buses.


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