Sharing the road with semi-trucks can be an intimidating experience for many Ohio motorists. The sheer size and weight these commercial vehicles possess demand extra caution and awareness from drivers to ensure everyone’s safety.
Avoid blind spots
Trucks have large blind spots on both sides as well as behind them. If you cannot see the truck driver’s mirrors, they likely cannot see you. Stay out of these blind spots to reduce accident risk.
Maintain a safe following distance
Trucks require a longer stopping distance due to their weight. It’s crucial to keep a safe following distance, at least four to five seconds behind the truck. This allows you ample time to react to any sudden stops or emergencies that can lead to motor vehicle accidents.
Pass with caution
When passing a semi-truck, do so with caution and avoid lingering beside the truck. Pass quickly but safely, maintaining a steady speed, and signal your intentions well in advance. Be aware of wind turbulence caused by large trucks, which can affect your vehicle’s stability.
Give room for turns
Keep a truck’s turning radius in mind, especially when it is making a right turn. Avoid squeezing between the truck and the curb, as the large vehicle may need extra space to complete the turn.
Be patient and predictable
Trucks have limited acceleration and maneuverability, so be patient and avoid making sudden lane changes or stops in front of a truck. Use your turn signals and make your actions predictable for the truck driver to anticipate your movements.
Avoid cutting off trucks
Cutting in front of a semi-truck abruptly can be extremely dangerous. Trucks take longer to stop, and sudden lane changes can lead to rear-end collisions. Always give trucks plenty of space when merging or changing lanes.
Account for weather conditions
Adverse weather conditions can significantly impact a truck’s ability to stop and maneuver. Exercise extra caution and increase your following distance during rain, snow or ice.
Avoid distracted driving
Distracted driving is dangerous under any circumstances, but it can be particularly hazardous when sharing the road with large trucks. Keep your focus on the road and avoid distractions like texting or using your phone.
Respect above all
Practicing defensive driving and respecting other road users can help keep you safe under most circumstances. Give trucks the space they need and avoid rash behavior that can put you and others in danger.