It can be a bit intimidating to drive our small cars around big commercial vehicles on Georgia’s highways. But there are some things you can do to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are 10 things we should be doing when driving around tractor-trailers and other large vehicles. The advice, in most cases, pertains to driving around all cars.
- Large trucks and buses have big blind spots. If you’re driving in an adjacent lane, make sure to stay at least 30 feet behind the truck.
- Pass safely by signaling to move into the lane to your left. Pass promptly so that you aren’t in the driver’s blind spot for long. When you want to move back into the right lane, make sure you can see the truck or bus in your mirror before making your move.
- Don’t cut it too close when switching lanes in front of a commercial vehicle.
- Don’t tailgate. If you’re following a big vehicle too closely, you’ll be in a blind spot.
- Remember that tractor-trailers and buses need more space to make turns. Back off and give the commercial vehicle driver room to work.
- Wear your seat belt, of course. Also, make sure children are in their car seats and passengers are buckled up.
- If you need to make a call without hands-free technology, send an email or read a text message, pull into a parking lot on a city street or into a rest stop on the highway Don’t do it while driving.
- Don’t drive aggressively around trucks or weave through traffic.
- Never get behind the wheel while impaired. That includes being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or prescription medicine that can affect your driving.
- If you’re making a long trip on the highway, don’t drive while you’re tired. Take breaks by trading the driving with a passenger or pull into a rest stop to do just that – rest.
In short, you want to be as prepared as possible when driving around commercial vehicles. That will help to cut down on crashes and injuries, keeping you and your passengers safe.