Experiencing a car accident can be terrifying. When the accident involves a semi, the damage can be catastrophic.
Semis are an essential part of how goods get from one part of the country to the other, so you will likely see semis on the road well into the future. Learning how to drive near and around semis safely is a critical skill to help you avoid an accident.
Here are a few tips for being safer around semis.
Understanding stopping distance
An average car has a short stopping distance, especially compared to a semi. While you may know that it takes longer for a semi to stop, it can be difficult to fully understand the extra time a large truck and trailer take to stop.
Typically, a semi will take twice as much time to stop as a passenger vehicle. A semi takes longer to stop both because of the vehicle’s size and because the air brakes in a semi have a lag time before they are fully activated.
Watching for tired truckers
Driving trucks for a living is not an easy job. Often the hours are long, and truck drivers have lengthy stretches where they do not see their family and friends.
While drivers have rules in place to help them get the rest they need, there are often instances where they get road-weary. When you notice a truck having a difficult time maintaining its speed or staying in its lane, it could indicate that the driver is tired. In these instances, look for an opportunity to pass the semi safely.