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Tips for Traveling Safely Next to A Tractor Trailer: Dos and Don’ts

Sharing the road with thousands of motorists can be stressful enough, but adding big-rigs to the mix presents even more potential danger to drivers. Driving a warehouse on wheels can be extremely difficult! Therefore, we need to adjust our driving behavior accordingly in order to be extra safe on the road to make it from point A to point B. Always practice good truck safety training tips, and give them much more room on the road than regular vehicles.

Below is a list of dos & dont’s that all motorists should practice for traveling safely next to a tractor-trailer or semi truck:

DO:

  • Drive at a safe speed.
  • Give truckers lots of room.
  • Always pass on the left.
    • Why? — Blind spots are everywhere. Similar to cars, trucks have a multitude of blind spots, especially on the passenger side. Be sure to always pass on the driver’s side. Otherwise, the truck driver cannot see you.
  • Drive at an appropriate speed for weather conditions.
  • Always use your turn signals.
  • Be fully aware of the road conditions and traffic signals.
  • Use low-beam headlights behind large trucks at night.
  • Use extra caution when passing a truck that is also pulling a trailer. The trailer could potentially swing into your lane.
  • When passed by a tractor-trailer, lower your speed to avoid water or debris that could affect your visibility.
  • Maintain a constant speed when passing and make sure you can see the truck in your rear view mirror when passing.
  • Be aware that it takes tractor-trailers more time than you to come to a safe stop.
    • Why? — Driving a warehouse on wheels can potentially make your truck weigh over 85,000 pounds. A fully loaded truck can take up to the length of three football feels to come to a safe stop from 60 mph.

DON’T:

  • Crowd a tractor-trailer.
    • Why? — Ever wonder why black chunks of rubber are on the side of the road? Well, tire blowouts are extremely common. Most loaded trucks are carrying over 85,000 pounds, creating substantial stress on the tires. If a tractor-trailer has a tire blowout, you do not want to be next to it if the driver begins to swerve.
  • Quickly change lanes.
  • Cut in front of a tractor-trailer.
  • Squeeze to the right shoulder of a truck that is making a turn.
    • Why? — The sign we’ve all seen on the back of trucks that states, “this truck makes wide turns” is always true. When a truck makes a right turn, they will swing left first, creating enough room for you to drive between the shoulder of the road and the trailer. This is extremely dangerous because during the turn, the tractor-trailer cannot see you!
  • Pass a truck on the right.
  • Get frustrated when you see two trucks riding side by side without getting over.
    • Why? — When semis are passing each other, they can only go so fast because trucks have “speed limiters” on them. This means that if a truck

Always practice proper truck safety techniques when driving next to a tractor-trailer. While there will always be “bad apples” on the road, the majority of truck drivers are doing the best they can. Always be patient and do not drive aggressively. Keep in mind that driving a warehouse on wheels is extremely difficult and stressful, and an accident with a tractor-trailer usually always leads to injuries. As a motorist, be safe and practice these safety techniques! Hopefully these tips have better prepared you for driving next to tractors-trailers and other large vehicles. If you happen to get in an accident, Marietta Wrecker Service is here to help out with all of your towing needs. Call us at 770-765-1941 or contact us for more towing information. Check out a list of our services offered here.

Light Duty/Vehicle Towing:
(770)-767-0569

Medium/Heavy Duty Towing:
(770) 767-0540

Emergency Roadside Service:
(770) 765-1933

Equipment Transport:
(770)-282-9250

Private Trespass Towing:
(770)-765-1972

Vehicle Impound Release:
(770) 765-1941