Seasoned drivers are accustomed to the presence of looming semis and huge trucks on highways. They have learned to coexist with these transporters and can anticipate the majority of the moves they make on the road. Inexperienced drivers, on the other hand, may exhibit anxiety while driving around heavy vehicles, which can result in a mistake despite being extra cautious.
Driving around these trucks in the winter, whether seasoned or not, is a nerve-racking experience for everyone. Even in extreme cold, semis continue to operate as usual because they have deadlines to meet and deliveries to make. As a result, smaller vehicles anticipating less traffic during this season may be surprised to learn that these trucks will always be around, and they must adapt their driving to these road conditions.
With a little care, however, you can prevent driving errors or accidents on the winter road and cruise smoothly alongside heavy large vehicles. Here are some guidelines on how to be safe around trucks this winter.
Focus on Passing Trucks Safely
Semis are massive vehicles that are challenging to maneuver. While most drivers are doing their best, many are also under duress, sleep-deprived, or focused on driving quickly to make deliveries on time. As a smaller vehicle driving alongside these trucks, the onus of individual safety falls on oneself.
Passing semi trucks is considered one of the riskiest maneuvers on a winter road due to several blind spots. The idea is to strike a balance and pass by the semi quickly yet without speeding, as there is a chance of losing traction and crashing. You can also follow these tips while passing a truck:
- Ensure there is enough space and time to pass a semi
- Maintain a steady pace while passing
- Always review the situation in your rearview mirror
- Signal to the driver before making the pass
- Make a pass through the left lane rather than the right, as the truck’s blind spot on the right is nearly double in size as compared to the left
Avoid ‘Cutting Off’ Trucks
Even if you’re in a tearing hurry to get places, winter is not the time to take risks that you might otherwise. Cutting off trucks, for instance, is a no-no. Moving in too close and quickly near a heavy vehicle can be risky because you will likely be concealed by a blind spot. Even if you’re visible, the vehicle may not have sufficient time to react and swerve.
Keep Safe Distance
Tailgating another vehicle, especially a behemoth like a semi, is a dangerous maneuver. In the winter, snow-covered roads can lead you to slip and slide under the trailer if the truck comes to an abrupt halt, resulting in a serious accident. Driving too close to a semi can also block your view of the road.
The Six-Second rule is a well-known guideline for keeping a safe distance from the car ahead of you. This timescale should be expanded to roughly eight to ten seconds in the winter, especially if you’re dealing with heavy vehicles.
When driving alongside heavy vehicles in the winter, it is critical to drive with caution, precision, and without distractions. Regardless, if you are involved in an accident with a larger vehicle, you can always seek the assistance of a qualified car accident lawyer to fight your case.