It is important for passenger drivers to understand how best to drive around large commercial vehicles like trucks or buses. These vehicles handle very differently from passenger vehicles, and drivers should be aware of the differences.
For example, trucks and buses have much larger blind spots as compared to traditional passenger vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, as a driver of a passenger vehicle you should never drive in a truck’s blind spot.
Where are the blind spots on a truck?
Similar to regular passenger vehicles, trucks have four blind spots. Two of these blind spots are in front and behind the truck, and the other two are on our side. However, unlike passenger vehicles, these blind spots are much larger.
The blind spot in front of a semi truck can extend for up to 20 feet. Meanwhile, the blind spot behind a semi truck may be 30 feet. The blind spot on the left side of a truck extends for one entire lane of traffic. The blind spot on the right side of a semi truck extends for two lanes.
What does this mean when passing a truck?
If you are looking to pass a semi truck, it is important to take the blind spots into consideration. Since the blind spot on the right side of a truck expands over two lanes, you should never pass on the right side of a semi truck. Always pass on the left.
Once you are on the left side of the semi truck, you want to spend as little time in the blind spot as possible. Accelerate quickly, and make sure to give the semi-truck as much room as possible before merging back into the lane.