When you drive in Pennsylvania, you may feel uneasy when you see a commercial truck coming close to you. Driving around semi-trucks makes many motorists nervous, and with good reason. When commercial trucks and passenger cars collide, you face a high chance of a serious injury or fatality as a driver or passenger in a car, truck or van.
However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notes that you may be able to lower your on-the-road risks by doing the following when driving near semi-trucks.
1. Avoid trucker “no zones”
A trucker’s no zones are like a traditional driver’s blind spots, meaning the trucker is unable to see your vehicle when you drive in them. As a general rule, if you are unable to see the trucker in his or her rearview mirror, then you should assume the truck driver is unable to see you, too.
2. Avoid tailgating
Tailgating is never a good idea, but tailgating a commercial truck is even more dangerous. When you drive too closely behind a semi-truck, you should assume the driver does not see you.
3. Think before you pass
Many truck-on-car collisions occur when drivers in traditional passenger cars attempt to pass large trucks. Before you attempt to do so, make sure you are able to see the driver in his or her rearview. Also, avoid passing on steep hills, where trucks tend to pick up more speed.
Keep in mind that a semi-truck is larger, heavier and harder to maneuver than a standard vehicle. While a truck driver has a duty to avoid you as much as possible, you, too, play a role in reducing your risk of injury or fatality.