How do I keep safe while passing a truck?

The presence of large trucks driving down a western Tennessee road is something to pay close attention to. Naturally, some drivers may feel the urge to get away from a large truck as quickly as possible. However, if you wish to pass a big truck, you must do so carefully. Large trucks are dangerous, and driving in the wrong spot next to one can increase the odds of a serious auto accident. 

According to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a problem drivers encounter when approaching a large truck is that these vehicles have major blind spots on all sides. Once in a blind spot, it is possible the trucker will not be able to see you, particularly if you are not able to spot the truck driver in your side mirror. Tailgating a truck is also dangerous since the truck driver cannot see you there either. 

The FMCSA advises motorists to make certain that the truck driver is visible through the vehicle mirror. At that point, assuming the left lane is clear, you may switch on your turn signal and shift into the left lane. Passing on the right side is dangerous and not recommended. Making sure the road is level is something to consider before passing, since a road that slopes downward is going to cause a truck to accelerate. 

When you start to pass a truck, do not take too much time. You want to get out of any blind spot as soon as you can. As you emerge past the truck, check to see if the truck is behind you in your rearview mirror. Seeing the truck in your rearview mirror means there is more space between you and the truck as you pull out in front of it. This minimizes the possibility that you will accidentally collide with the truck upon turning into the lane. 

In the event a large truck is passing you, it is best to reduce speed and provide more space for the truck to merge into your lane. This also applies for trucks that are approaching from acceleration lanes or from ramps coming in from bridges or overpasses. Also remember that trucks require more room to turn. If a truck does start turning, keep your distance and do not try to pass it. You do not want to get caught between a turning truck and a road curb. 

Because truck accidents are caused in many different ways, do not read this article as legal advice. It is only intended for the educational benefit of the reader.