One of the most dangerous things Americans do on a daily basis is step into their car. The risk of a crash is always high while driving, but the risk for injury goes exponentially up when one of the vehicles involved in a crash is a semi truck.
Many accidents involving semi trucks stem from drivers not understanding the best way to share the road with a truck. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the blind spots of semi trucks are much larger than those of passenger vehicles.
Where are the blind spots on a semi?
Like with all vehicles, there are blind spots in the front, rear, and on both sides of a semi truck. The main difference between a semi truck and a regular passenger vehicle is that these blind spots are larger. The blind spot behind a semi truck extends for 30 feet, while the blind spot in front of a semi truck is 20 feet.
The blind spot on the left side of a semi truck is similar to a passenger vehicle: it only spans one lane. However, the blind spot on the right side of a semi truck spans two lanes.
How can I drive safely around a semi?
Being aware of these blind spots is key. First, you should never attempt to pass a semi-truck on the right hand side since the blind spot is so large here. Best practice is to emerge from behind the semi truck before you get within 30 feet of the vehicle.
Merge on the left-hand side of the truck and leave at least 20 feet between you and the semi. Then, you can merge safely back into the lane.