Driving around commercial vehicles, like trucks, can be dangerous. For this reason, understanding how to best maneuver around these big behemoths is important for your safety. All vehicles have blind spots. However, commercial vehicles have exceptionally large blind spots. Understanding where these blind spots are and how big they are can help you drive safely around these large vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that the blind spots around commercial vehicles are much bigger than ones on regular cars.
How large are these blind spots?
Because these spots on a commercial vehicle are so large, staying out of them is of paramount importance. For example, on the right side of a commercial vehicle, the blind spot encompasses two whole lanes; this is much larger than the blind areas on a regular vehicle. The blind spots in front and behind a commercial vehicle are much larger than those on a traditional car, as well.
How can this help me drive safer?
Understanding where a commercial vehicle’s blind spots are can help you maneuver safely around these vehicles. For example, the blind spot on the left side of a semi truck is smaller than the blind spot on the right side of a commercial vehicle. Thus, you should always pass a commercial vehicle on the left, and never on the right. Passing on the right can be extremely dangerous. You should also give a commercial vehicle more room when you are passing it because the blind spot is very large in front and behind the vehicle. If at all possible, merge out of the lane behind the commercial vehicles prior to 30 feet. You should also give the commercial vehicle plenty of room when you merge back in front of it.