When you drive on I-85, you undoubtedly encounter dozens or even hundreds of semitrucks. When climbing hills, these vehicles may move considerably slower than your everyday car, truck or SUV. Because tractor-trailers can be as long as 80 feet, passing one may take a bit of time.
Given the length and height of semitrucks, professional drivers have large blind spots. If you drive in these areas, which are on all sides of the truck, a truck driver may not be able to see your vehicle. Consequently, if the driver changes lanes or executes other maneuvers, he or she may inadvertently collide with you.
Do not drive in blind spots
Staying away from a trucker’s blind spots is one of the more effective ways to stay safe on the road. Still, if the truck is moving slower than your vehicle, staying behind it may not be much of an option. Nevertheless, unless you are actively passing, you should not drive in a trucker’s blind spots.
Pass as quickly as possible
To pass a semitruck on the interstate, move into the left lane when you are at least four car lengths behind the truck. Next, pass as quickly as possible without violating the speed limit. By overtaking the truck in under a minute, you limit the time you are at risk of an accident.
Use your turn signals
Before changing lanes to pass a commercial vehicle, use your turn signal to tell the driver of your plans. Then, signal again before returning to the right lane after passing the truck. Also, dim your bright lights to avoid blinding the truck driver.
Ultimately, a simple hand movement is likely to decrease your chances of sustaining a catastrophic injury in a collision with a tractor-trailer.