Commercial trucks are several times taller, longer and heavier than even the largest passenger vehicles on the road. That means that they create unique concerns for the people driving them. Commercial truck drivers have to go through special educational programs to safely manage large commercial trucks, and standard driving school usually includes lessons on sharing the road safely.
As someone in a passenger vehicle, you want to avoid getting into a collision with a commercial truck, as their size makes it highly likely that you will suffer devastating injuries or catastrophic property damage. Knowing how to stay out of the big blind spots around a commercial truck can help keep you safe.
Pay attention when driving close to commercial trucks
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) advises that all drivers avoid the blind spots around big trucks. Even with large mirrors, the drivers may not see you if you drive too close to the truck.
You want to leave at least 20 feet between the back of your vehicle and the front of a commercial truck at all times. Remember, they take much longer to stop than smaller vehicles do, and take extra care when merging in front of a truck.
You also want to make sure there are at least 30 feet between the front of your vehicle and the back of a commercial truck in case either of you needs to stop quickly, as underride crashes often prove fatal for the person in the smaller vehicle.
Finally, you want to avoid driving directly to the left of the trailer attached to the truck, as well as in the two lanes directly to the right of the truck. By avoiding these areas, you reduce the potential for a crash.