Red semi-truck driving in fall country next to rocky cliff

How Do I Drive Safely Past Semi Trucks?

Safety Tips for Driving Around, Near, and Past Semi Trucks

No one likes having semi trucks near them when on the road. We’d guess that semi truck drivers don’t appreciate a lot of traffic either. So, what should you do when driving near semi trucks? How should you stay safe? What do you need to know? Is it ok to pass them? We’re here to help with some safety tips about driving around, near, and past semi trucks!

Be Aware of Semi Truck Blind Spots

One of the biggest things to consider is a semi truck’s range of blind spots. Every vehicle has blind spots, but the bigger a vehicle is, the greater the area of blind spots is. A small compact might have a small blind spot area, but a full-size SUV will have much more. What does that tell you about the blind spots of a semi truck?

When driving with a trailer attached, which is most times in the case of semi trucks, semi trucks have huge amounts of area near their vehicle that they cannot see at all times. There’s always a huge area that a semi truck driver is blind to.

Straight ahead, in front of the vehicle, there is a blind spot of 20 ft. Behind the vehicle there is a blind spot of 30 ft. As for the sides, there is a much bigger blind spot on the passenger side of a semi truck which covers about 2-lanes worth of traffic.  However, the driver’s side still has a sizeable spot that the driver can’t detect with a blind spot covering about 1 lane next to the driver’s side seat.

While this is a lot of information to take in, what’s important is that you are aware of these blind spots when driving near semi trucks. Don’t put yourself into one of these blind spots if possible. If you have to drive in a blind spot then at least be aware that a semi truck’s driver isn’t aware of you and can’t see you.

An overhead view of a huge traffic jam on a highway packed with vehicles

White trailer and semi-truck hitch driving on country road at sunset

Give Semi Trucks Plenty of Space

This seems likes a simple instruction, but it’s important to understand why it’s important. Semi trucks are very large and heavy vehicles, which greatly inhibits their maneuverability. That means they take much longer to speed up, brake, change lanes, and more. Being too close to semi-trucks when they need to speed up, slow down, or make a turn can result in an accident.

Is It Safe to Pass Them?

The answer to this question obviously requires context. If you are going to pass a semi truck when on the highway, make sure to keep a couple things in mind. First, assess the situation to make sure it’s safe to do so. That means checking all the other traffic on the road, including the lanes behind you, in front of you, and at your sides.

Secondly, if you do intend to pass a semi truck, don’t dawdle. Being side-by-side against a semi truck presents its own set of risks, so you’ll want to exit that position as soon as possible. Remain safe and attentive, always, but don’t take your time when passing a semi truck. Pass quickly so you can return to a safer area of the road.

Should You Buy a Minivan or an SUV?

Looking for more tips and tricks to help navigate and manage the road? Check out our blog here at Stop 23 Auto Sales for additional help. You can also always call or visit our dealership. Our sales team are happy to assist!