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How do we stay safe around trucks on the highways?

Life in America would be very different without trucks. Big rigs like tractor-trailers bring much of our food, clothing and consumer goods to us and keep costs down. As many drivers in Florida know, however, trucks can make driving difficult and occasionally dangerous.

Truck drivers must maintain high professional standards to keep the roads around them safe, and people in cars and smaller trucks can benefit from knowing some of their rules. There are also smart tips for drivers to avoid a possibly tragic collision with a truck.

Where are tractor-trailers' blind spots?

The large size of trucks with cargo trailers make it difficult for drivers to constantly see the space directly in front and in back of their rigs. Experts estimate that 20 feet in front of a cab and 30 feet behind the rear of the trailer should be treated as blind spots. The same is true for areas just behind the driver's position in the cab.

Is it safe to pass a large truck?

Passing a vehicle always has its risks, but there are several ways to make it safer to pass a truck. Make sure you can see the driver of the truck in his or her mirrors, making it more likely that he or she sees you. Avoid passing on the left and just before downgrades, on which many trucks suddenly pick up speed.

What's the best way to deal with a truck collision?

Stay on the scene of the accident and take photographs of the vehicles involved while waiting for law enforcement or emergency services. Consider contacting an attorney in the event of an injury or extensive vehicle damage.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Tips for Driving Safely Around Large Trucks or Buses," accessed April 26, 2018

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