While out on the road, everyone wants to get their destination safely and as soon as possible. However, sometimes impatience or distractions can get the best of drivers, putting them and others on the road at risk. Those risks can increase while sharing the road with semi trucks.
Drivers have likely seen a semi-tractor trailer blow a tire or have had to swerve around a piece of tire on the highway. These are retreaded tires, also known as rubber roadkill.
However, following a few simple tips can help passenger vehicle drivers share the road safely with semi trucks, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
1) Avoid blind spots
Semi trucks and buses have larger blind spots due to their sizes. If you can’t see the driver in the vehicle’s side view mirror, you should assume that they can’t see you.
Instead, slow down or accelerate a little to avoid blind spots and stay visible.
2) Give them space
When driving in front of or behind a semi truck make sure to give them enough space to avoid a crash. Semi trucks take longer to slow down and speed up, so make use you turn signals and give extra room while passing and merging lanes.
3) Be ready for wide turns
Trucks need extra room to turn, so sometimes they may swing wide or turn from a middle lane.
Don’t stop in front of the line at intersections or try and squeeze past a semi truck and the curb while it’s trying to turn.
4) Be patient
It’s easy to get annoyed with traffic, especially during rush hour, but honking, aggressive driving or weaving in and out of traffic can cause unnecessary distractions.
5) Don’t drive distracted
Whether it’s playing with the radio or checking your phone, taking your eyes off the road or losing your focus for a second can have serious consequences. Make sure to stay alert while driving and always keep your eyes on the road.
If you need to send a text or make a phone call, pull over.
6) Wear a seat belt
While it’s one of the most fundamental driving safety tips, it bears repeating. Using your seat belt is one of the easiest ways to save lives while driving. Also, make sure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up safely.
On Monday, Feb. 25, News Center 7's Rachel Murray is looking into tire failure and retreads. Tune in at 5:30 p.m.