Driving a semi-truck requires extensive training, certification, and skill. And while you have to be completely in control of your trailer when driving, you also have to be aware of your surroundings and how other vehicles are driving and reacting to your big rig.
To help, our team at Mount Trailer Company in Portland, Oregon, has prepared a safety guide to help you avoid collisions and outline some reasons they can occur.
Three Things to Remember When Driving Your Semi-Truck
- Blind Spots
While this may seem like an obvious one, a semi-truck can potentially have blind spots – also referred to as “no zones.” Some drivers think that extended and large front mirrors will cover everything, but they often don’t. Be aware of your semi’s blind spots and take extra care when maneuvering lanes and adjust/react to other vehicles.
Whether you drive a semi-truck or not, we’ve all seen them turn and know just how wide and more distance is needed to safely turn left or right. When you are driving your semi, you will need to swing out in order to make most of your turns. Be very careful when doing this as impatience drivers may try to quickly pass around you right as you are swinging to make your turn.
As mentioned earlier, this is a situation where you not only have to be mindful of your own rig, but all the other vehicles, and drivers (no matter how impatient and poor they may drive).
A semi-truck can weigh in at as much as 80,000 pounds. Keeping that in mind, the average break time for a semi on the highway can be up to 525 feet (roughly the equivalent to about two football fields). That break time is in optimal conditions, so with rain, snow, etc., it will increase greatly.
Be certain you are not only maintaining the proper distance between other vehicles when driving, but you are also considering the weather and other road variables like construction, lanes coming to an end, and more.
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