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While a regular vehicle only has the two main blind spots on either side, large tractor trailers have four, at the front, back, and both sides. With the length of trucks being much longer than a car, the two side blind spots are magnified, giving the driver even less visibility. This is especially the case with the right side of trucks, as that blind spot encompasses the entire area. Note that for the next time you’re next to a truck that’s in the left lane. They cannot see you.

Merging and passing, correctly

This brings us to the next point: let trucks onto the highway when they are merging. If you happen to be running parallel to a truck that’s coming onto the highway, please slow down. The driver might not see you and start merging, thinking that they have a clear path ahead of them. Don’t be the operator of that one car that refuses to let a truck onto the highway. It will mostly cause a safety issue for the thirty seconds you’re trying to save on the travel time.

The same goes for driving right next to a truck. Left lanes are meant for passing, so make sure that pass happens ASAP and you don’t get comfortable driving right next to the truck. No one is going to benefit from two vehicles driving side-by-side hogging the only lanes available.

Don’t get too close

Looking back to the previous post all about braking distances, it’s important to refrain from changing lanes right in front of a truck for that exact reason. Another big point to consider is that the driver of the truck also cannot see the vehicle if it is too close. With some trucks being up to 13.5 feet tall and sedans averaging less than 5 feet in height, truck cabins could be twice as high, making immediate visibility nearly impossible.

All of this is why all drivers should be maintaining a safe traveling distance. This also applies to tailgating. Since trucks have a blind spot in the back, the driver is not seeing the vehicle directly behind them. Aggressive driving tactics such as tailgating will not affect the truck driver’s behavior on the road. Furthermore, if a car is way too close to a truck, and the truck is rightfully has to break early because of a traffic situation, the car might cause a collision.

What’s the best way to test your knowledge on these issues? Practical application. The next time you’re driving, follow these tips to make sure that we’re all staying safe out on the road!

This is the second in a series of blog posts putting a spotlight on road safety. Check out the first and third posts!

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