As a motorist, you may be familiar with driving alongside huge tractor trailers and big rigs on a daily basis. Commercial vehicles are an essential part of the American economy, as they transport vital goods across the country. Yet, these massive vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and present certain dangers to other cars and motorcycles on the road. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that 4,102 people died in accidents involving large trucks in 2017 alone. It is essential that you understand how to drive safely around big rigs so you can minimize your risk of becoming seriously injured in a tractor trailer accident.

Large trucks have extremely large blind spots, or places where they cannot see other vehicles driving alongside or behind them. The largest blind spots are on the right-hand side and to the rear of the truck. You should always avoid driving in these areas, but rather speed up and pass the truck on the left-hand side to get out of the blind spot.

Keep in mind that it takes a longer distance for a truck to slow down and come to a spot than another vehicle, especially in inclement weather conditions, such as rain, ice, snow and fog. Avoid pulling out in front of or cutting off a tractor trailer, as it may not have the distance or time to stop. Finally, allow trucks to make wide turns. Never pull up beside a truck when it is attempting to make a turn in that direction.

If you spot something out of the ordinary, alert law enforcement and they can take care of the problem.

This information is educational and should not be taken as legal advice.