It should come as no surprise that there are many differences between the handling practices of large commercial vehicles and smaller passenger vehicles. Most of us on the road have only ever had the experience of driving a passenger vehicle, which makes having at least theoretical knowledge of how larger vehicles handle useful for keeping safe.
As per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are some basic practices that can help everybody stay safe on the road, both truckers and commuters. These include avoiding the truck’s blind spots, ensuring that you give the truck plenty of space, and being aware of wide turns.
What should I know about a truck’s blind spots?
The blind spots on a truck are much larger as compared to the blind spots that normal cars have. For instance, the blind spot behind a truck spans 30 feet while the blind spot in front of a truck can be up to 20 feet depending on the size of the cab.
The blind spot on the left side of a truck is only one lane, but takes up covers two lanes on the right. This is why it is vital to always pass semi trucks on the left.
What about space and turns?
Due to their larger size, it takes trucks longer to stop as compared to cars. You should never cut anybody off, but especially not a truck for this reason.
The turning radius of a truck is roughly 55 ft. Make sure that you give trucks a lot of space to allow them to turn safely, and never try to cut between the truck and a curb.