If you’ve ever followed large trucks or semi’s then you may have noticed little signs on the back telling you to always pass on the left. Believe it or not, but there is a damn good reason for this. If you haven’t figured it out by now, trucks are larger than the average vehicle. They’re generally two to three times as long, often triple the height and can weigh up to 20 times what you’re car weighs. Trucks are not nearly as nimble as your car either, which means they don’t stop, turn or accelerate at near the rate of a modern day automobile. Therefore there are some rules that we as motorist must adhere too. For example, when passing a truck, never, ever pass it on the right side. While truck drivers constantly check their mirrors, keep in mind that for the most part, these trucks have 40 to 80 foot blind spots, which means they can’t see you.
Sometimes trucks, regardless of how big, also need to pass slow moving vehicles. So, when you see a truck with their turn signal on, let the truck in. It may slow you down momentarily, but that extra 30 seconds it takes for the truck to make a clean pass is not going to kill you. Another common error when following a truck is tailgating. If you’re riding the bumper of a truck you need to understand, that if you’re close enough where you can’t see their side view mirrors, that this means that they cannot see you. So make sure you give them plenty of space.
Lastly, do not EVER cut in front of a truck or big rig. As mentioned the weight of these trucks can run up to 80,000 pounds or more. That means that panic stops for these guys are just not an option, so keep that in mind before you try to make that next exit ramp. Follow these simple rules and I promise that you’ll not only live longer, but make truck drivers the world over happier to be on the road.