How to Drive Safely Around Semi-Trucks

Posted On November 30, 2023 / By Manning Law / Truck Accidents

Semi-trucks may be necessary for the nation’s economy, but they present a significant danger to others who share the road with them. Collisions involving commercial trucks are often catastrophic or deadly for those in the smaller vehicles. Follow a few tips from our experienced Denver truck accident attorneys for driving safely around big rigs to decrease your risk of getting into a devastating truck accident.

Keep Your Distance

Do your best to avoid driving directly behind, next to or in front of a large truck. If you encounter a truck on the road, keep a safe distance and pass the truck as quickly and safely as possible. Tractor-trailers have large blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle. The truck driver cannot see smaller vehicles in these areas. Staying out of these blind spots is important for preventing lane-change, sideswipe or merge accidents involving a semi-truck.

Keep adequate distance between your vehicle and a large truck. Do not tailgate a truck, as you may crash into the back of the trailer if the truck driver suddenly brakes. If you are in front of a truck, do not suddenly slam on your brakes, as this could result in a rear-end collision if the trucker cannot stop in time. If you see a large truck making a turn, give it a wide berth. Semi-trucks need room to turn and often have to swing their cabs in the opposite direction before turning.

Stay Visible and Predictable 

Do not drive erratically around a large truck. Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. They take significantly more time to brake, turn and maneuver than smaller cars. For this reason, it is never safe to cut off a large truck, turn in front of a truck unexpectedly or slam on your brakes in front of a truck. Obey traffic laws to keep your actions and movements predictable to a truck driver. Give the driver of the 18-wheeler enough time to see you and respond safely to your vehicle before proceeding. Use your turn signals, obey posted speed limits and stay visible at all times.

Pass Trucks Safely 

You do not want to hover near a semi-truck. You should pass the truck as quickly as is practicable. Pass an 18-wheeler more carefully than you would a smaller car. Remember that large trucks need more time and space to come to a stop; be sure there is plenty of distance between your car and the truck before getting over in front of the truck. You should be able to see the driver of the truck in your rearview mirror. Properly signal your intent to merge ahead of time so the truck driver is able to see you and respond accordingly.

Never Drive Distracted

Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous mistakes a driver can make – especially when driving near a big rig. Distracted driving could lead to your vehicle drifting out of its lane and crashing into a semi-truck. It can also increase the odds of rear-end collisions and underride accidents, which occur when a smaller vehicle gets lodged beneath the trailer of a truck. Never get distracted by your cell phone, onboard electronics, food or beverages, your passengers, children, pets, the radio, or other interruptions while driving. Dedicate 100 percent of your attention to the road at all times to prevent accidents.

Injured in a Semi-Truck Accident? Get Help From an Attorney

It is not always possible to prevent truck accidents. You cannot control the actions of others around you, including truck drivers. If you get involved in a truck accident despite your best efforts, help is available at Manning Law. Our specialized Denver personal injury attorneys can assist you with the injury claims process. We have years of experience going up against trucking companies and their insurance providers. We will work hard to collect the financial compensation that you deserve for your injuries and property damage. Contact us today for a free consultation.