5 Tips for Sharing the Road with Truckers

Did you know that big rig trucks carry nearly 30 percent of all the cargo shipped in the United States? That means on your summer road trip you are going to find yourself sharing the road with these massive tractor-trailers on the interstate and on highways. Here are 5 tips for staying safe and avoiding collisions:

  1. Don’t ride in the tractor-trailer’s blind spots. Blind spots are worst to the right, to the rear and in the mid-left section of the truck. The most common blind spot is when you are passing the big rig and the truck is to your right. When you are driving by the middle section of the big rig they probably can’t see you. If you are going to pass a truck do it as quickly as possible. Don’t coast along the side of the truck going only a mile or two faster than them. (Remember the speed limits, though!)
  2. Don’t ride between trucks. Traveling on the highways can mean a lot of changing lanes and you may find yourself wanting to sneak into a spot between two trucks. This is a dangerous spot if traffic slows or stops. The big rig takes about three times as much distance to stop than the average vehicle.
  3. Be patient when a big rig backs up. It takes several attempts and a lot of concentration for the driver to back up a truck measuring 48 feet long. Give them space and give them time to safely back up.
  4. Don’t try a be the law. For example, a trucker going up hill slows down a lot – it is hard for them to maintain the speed limit. However, as they go downhill they gain a lot of speed and use it to help them go up the next hill. This means they may drive over the speed limit. Don’t sit in the passing lane at the speed limit – give them the passing lane and let the cops worry about citing the driver if they do go above the speed limit.
  5. Don’t block a truck from changing lanes. None of us really want the truck to be in front of us slowing us down but it is better to be safe and not sorry. If a truck is signaling to change lanes slow down and give them room to get in front of you. Remember tip #1 – their blind spots are dangerous and you don’t want to be caught in the way without the trucker able to see you.

Remember, if you can’t see the driver in his mirrors he/she probably can’t see you! Don’t forget, you can schedule an appointment for maintenance or an oil change at our shop before you summer trip!


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