10 Safety Tips for Sharing the Road With Big Rigs

By  //  May 19, 2023

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With a law degree under his belt, Mark Scott understood very early that law communication was a relatively neglected area.

He decided to help people by “translating” the language and offering information and advice in a clear, useful, and actionable manner. For this reason, instead of finding him in court, you will most likely find his name online, where he is very active and thriving as a legal columnist.

His part of making the world a better place is to make the law a less convoluted maze.

He aims to make it easier for people to understand when and how to seek legal counsel, how to proceed in a significant number of legal matters, and to find the proper resources so they can stand up for their rights.

As the highways become increasingly crowded, sharing the road with big rigs can be a challenge for drivers. The size and weight of these vehicles make them a potential hazard, especially when drivers are unaware of how to safely navigate around them. 

However, with a few simple tips, drivers can safely share the road with big rigs and avoid accidents.

Understanding Big Rigs

Before diving into the tips, it’s important to understand what big rigs are and how they operate on the road. Big rigs are large commercial vehicles used to transport goods across long distances. They typically consist of a tractor (the cab or the front part of the vehicle) and a trailer (the back part of the vehicle), which can be up to 53 feet long.

Big rigs are much heavier and slower than passenger cars, requiring a lot more space to maneuver. They also have much larger blind spots, making it difficult for drivers to see other vehicles around them. Being aware of these factors when driving around big rigs is essential.

Safety Tips

Here are ten safety tips to help you share the road safely with big rigs:

  1. Give Them Plenty of Space

When driving near a big rig, giving them plenty of space is important. Big rigs require more time and space to stop, so avoid cutting in front of them or driving too closely behind them. If you’re passing a big rig, make sure you have plenty of room before merging back into their lane.

  1. Stay Out of Their Blind Spots

Big rigs have much larger blind spots than passenger cars, which means that there are areas around the truck where the driver cannot see you. 

These blind spots are typically located on the sides of the truck, directly behind the trailer, and in front of the cab. Try to stay out of these areas to ensure that the driver can see you.

  1. Pass With Caution

When passing a big rig, do so with caution. Make sure you have plenty of space and avoid lingering in the truck’s blind spot as you pass. Pass the big rig quickly but safely, and only merge back into the lane once you are well clear of the truck.

  1. Use Your Signals

Using your turn signals is crucial when driving near big rigs. Signal your intentions early so that the truck driver can anticipate your movements. If you need to change lanes or make a turn, use your signals and make sure you have enough space to do so safely.

  1. Don’t Cut in Front of Them

Big rigs require a lot more time and space to stop than passenger cars. If you cut in front of a big rig, you may force the driver to slam on their brakes, which can be dangerous for both you and the truck. Always give big rigs plenty of space and avoid cutting in front of them.

  1. Don’t Drive in their “Splash Zone”

When driving behind a big rig, be aware of its “splash zone.” This is the area directly behind the truck where the truck’s tires can kick up water, mud, or other debris. 

If you’re driving in this zone, your visibility may be significantly reduced, and your vehicle may be pelted with rocks or other debris. To avoid this, stay back from the truck and drive in a different lane if possible.

  1. Avoid Distractions

Driving near big rigs requires your full attention. Avoid distractions like texting, eating, or adjusting the radio while driving near a big rig. Stay focused on the road and the truck to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

  1. Be Patient

Big rigs are slower and less maneuverable than passenger cars, so it’s important to be patient when driving near them. Avoid honking your horn or driving aggressively around big rigs. 

Remember that the driver is doing their best to navigate the road safely, and give them the time and space they need to do so.

  1. Obey Traffic Laws

Obeying traffic laws is always important, but it’s especially crucial when driving near big rigs. Follow the speed limit, yield to merging trucks, and obey traffic signals. Failure to do so can put you and others on the road at risk.

  1. Stay Alert

Finally, stay alert when driving near big rigs. Watch for sudden movements, anticipate the truck’s actions, and be prepared to react quickly if necessary. By staying alert and focused, you can ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

Getting Legal Help for a Big Rig Accident

Sharing the road with big rigs can be intimidating, but by following these safety tips, you can do so safely. 

Sometimes, even the best driving accidents can’t prevent an accident with a big rig. In these cases, you often need representation on your side. If you have been injured in an accident with a big rig, consider speaking with a truck accidents lawyer from Carrigan & Anderson. They will be able to discuss your legal options and help pursue compensation from the liable party.