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Driving with Large Trucks

Weighing as much as 80,000 pounds, large trucks and truck-tractor combinations require more acceleration and deceleration time than an average passenger vehicle and can have blind spots in multiple locations.

It is important for drivers to share the road responsibly with large trucks. Drivers should always take extra care and observe the following safety tips.

Pass Safely

Never cut in front of a truck. After you pass, make sure the entire truck appears in your rearview mirror before returning to the lane. Trucks need additional space because they take twice as long to stop as a passenger car. If you move into that space and brake suddenly, the truck may not have enough time to stop safely.

Always leave at least four car lengths between the back of your car and the front of any large truck you pass.

Stay out of the "No Zone"

"No Zones" are danger areas around large trucks in which crashes are more likely to occur. Because of a truck's size, there are four large blind spots where cars disappear from the driver's view. Passenger car drivers should avoid lingering in these areas whenever possible.

Avoid Tailgating

A severe collision can result when a car hits the rear end of a truck. Large trucks and the trailers they pull do not have impact-absorbing bumpers. Additionally, the truck's metal bumpers may not align with those of your car.

Leaving 20-25 car lengths between your vehicle and a truck will provide the space you'll need to stop safely during an emergency or traffic slow down. That following distance will also allow you to see ahead of the truck and react to any change in driving conditions.

Stay Away from Front and Rear Blind Spots

Following a truck too closely obscures your view of the road in front of you. The driver of the truck is also unable to see your vehicle. If you can't see the driver in the truck's side mirror, the driver can't see you or your vehicle.