Any accident has the potential to be fatal, but if one of the vehicles involved is an 18-wheel semi truck, the chance for fatalities go up significantly. It is important that Alabama drivers understand how to avoid accidents with semi trucks.
Driving safely means understanding that a semi truck operates differently than a traditional passenger vehicle. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, blind spots on semi trucks are much larger than blind spots on 4-wheel passenger vehicles.
Where are the blind spots on a semi truck?
There are blind spots on all four sides of a semi truck. The blind spot in front of the semi truck will extend for around 20 feet, while the blind spot behind the semi truck is 30 feet. The blind spot on the left side of a semi-truck extends for one lane, but on the right lane it extends for two.
This is why you should never pass a semi truck on the right hand side. The blind spot on this side of the truck is very large and it is likely that the operator will not see you. A good rule to keep in mind if you cannot see the mirrors on a semi truck, it is likely that the driver cannot see you.
How can I pass a semi truck safely?
In addition to passing on the left hand side of the semi truck, it is a good idea to start passing before you get into the 30-foot blind spot behind the semi truck. Accelerate to pass the semi-truck quickly, and remember to give the semi-truck plenty of space before you merge back in lane. Cutting off a semi truck can lead to a serious accident.