Whether you’re a daily Colorado commuter who travels significant distances to and from work or someone who works from home and typically only drives to run errands or attend social events, chances are that you share the road with tractor-trailer drivers. If you’ve ever had a big rig come barreling up behind you on the highway, you understand how unsettling it can be.
Semi-truck drivers must go through special training in order to obtain a license to operate a tractor-trailer. In addition to adhering to specific traffic regulations that apply to big-rig drivers, such as how many hours they can stay behind the wheel without pulling over to rest, truckers also learn safety tips to help them avoid collisions.
Avoid driving in blind spot areas
When you’re coming up in the left lane to pass a tractor-trailer, it’s always important to make sure you can see the reflection of the truck driver in his or her own driver’s side mirror. If you can’t, then it means the driver cannot see you. This is a blind spot, and many serious collisions occur when trucks move into a passing lane without realizing another vehicle was there.
Tractor-trailer drivers know how long it takes a big rig to stop
Have you ever had to suddenly apply your brakes when a traffic pattern unexpectedly slowed? When you learned to drive, your instructor likely explained to you that speed and road conditions have an impact on how long it takes a vehicle to stop. Big-rig drivers also learn a lot about stopping during their training sessions.
If a truck driver is tailgating you, it’s highly unlikely that he or she will be able to stop in time if you yourself have to come to a quick stop. On the flip side, it’s better to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and a semi-truck if you are the car behind.
Watch out for truck drivers who are reckless when making turns
Truck drivers must adhere to all traffic laws just as you and every other motorist are obligated to do. You may have noticed that big-rig drivers often have to “swing it wide” when navigating turns. This doesn’t mean, however, that they can disregard traffic lights or other rules of the road.
If a driver misjudges a turn and hits you, the results may be disastrous. Sadly, many fatal collisions occur at intersections and involve tractor-trailer drivers. It pays to be especially cautious if you’re at an intersection and a tractor-trailer approaches.