Driving Safely Around Commercial Trucks

It doesn’t matter what kind of vehicle you are driving when you are driving around big trucks and buses, it is how you drive that matters.

Here are some tips that could save your life while driving around big rigs.

Buckle up

It’s your last line of defense.

Never cut in front of a truck or bus

A fully loaded truck or bus can take 400 feet - more than the length of a football field - to stop.

Keep a safety cushion around trucks and buses

When driving in front of a truck or bus, try to leave a 10-car length gap between it and your car. When driving behind a truck or bus, try to stay behind by 20-25 car lengths. An average passenger car traveling at 55 miles per hours takes about 130-140 feet to stop.

Passing a truck or bus

If possible, pass trucks and buses on the left because the driver’s blind spot on the right runs the length of the trailer and extends out three lanes. Never linger alongside a truck or a bus. Cars can momentarily "disappear" from the driver’s view due to blind spots. Pass trucks and buses quickly to increase visibility and reduce dangers.

Never cut in front of a truck or bus

A fully loaded truck or bus can take 400 feet - more than the length of a football field - to stop.

Check for truck and bus headlights before changing lanes

Only change lanes when you can see both of the headlights in your rearview mirror.

Check a truck or bus’s mirrors

If you are following a truck or a bus and you cannot see the driver’s face in the side mirrors, the driver cannot see you.

Allow trucks and buses adequate space to maneuver

Trucks and buses make wide turns at intersections and require additional lanes to turn.

Avoid distractions

Focus on your driving and avoid distractions such as cell phone use or texting, eating, or other activities that can remove your attention from the road.

Get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation and fatigue can cause lapses in attention, slowed awareness and impaired judgment.