It should come as no surprise that commercial vehicles like semi trucks and buses handle very differently compared to traditional passenger vehicles. These roadway behemoths are much larger and heavier than traditional cars.
If you are driving a regular passenger vehicle on America’s highways, it is likely you will need to contend with commercial vehicle traffic. Staying safe while sharing the roadway is paramount. According to the FMCSA, you should be aware that the blind spots on commercial vehicles are very large and that their turns are going to be much wider.
Understanding the blind spots on commercial vehicles
The common advice when passing large commercial vehicles is to never pass on the right. Of course, this rule also applies to passing regular passenger vehicles, as faster traffic should always be on the left.
However, this is particularly important when it comes to commercial vehicles. This is because the blind spot on a commercial vehicle is two lanes wide. Passing on the right means that a larger vehicle, who may be trying to merge into the lane that is theoretically going slower, may not see you if you are passing on this side.
Look out for wide turns
Make sure that you always come to a complete stop behind the white line at an intersection. Trucks and buses make extremely wide right turns, and they need that extra space. You should also never try to get between a turning commercial vehicle and the curb. This is particularly important when dealing with semi trucks because while the cab of a truck may swing wide, the trailer will usually turn closer to the curb.