One of the most important safety rules about commercial trucks is to give them extra space. Big vehicles take longer to change their speed than smaller vehicles, whether they need to speed up or stop. Giving twice as much space between your bumper and theirs when you merge reduces the chances that they will hit you after you turn or merge in front of them.
That extra space is also very important for the prevention of serious collisions. Commercial trucks have blind spots that can put other drivers in extreme danger on the road.
Commercial drivers usually can’t see the people directly around their vehicle
The large blind spots around commercial trucks directly contribute to preventable collisions that can claim people’s lives. Generally, drivers need to stay at least the same distance as the length of the trailer from the back of a commercial truck. It’s also crucial that they avoid driving directly to the left of the trailer or in the two lanes to the right of the trailer. The larger blind spot on the right is why the rule is to pass big trucks on the left.
When drivers wind up in those blind spots, they are at increased risk of a crash with a commercial vehicle. The bigger vehicle could merge or turn and strike a passenger vehicle that the commercial driver is unable to see. In some cases, being in a truck blind spot might lead to a tragic underride crash where the passenger vehicle winds up under the trailer of the commercial vehicle.
Learning about and respecting the blind spots around big trucks could help you avoid becoming a victim of a commercial vehicle crash.