While any type of car accident is a bad car accident, accidents involving passenger cars and semi-trucks tend to be some of the most extreme. If you are the driver of a regular four-wheel passenger vehicle, it can be intimidating to share the highways with massive 18-wheel semi-trucks. It is important to understand how to drive around these behemoths safely. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it is imperative that you give semi-trucks plenty of space when you are driving around them on the highway.
It is generally good practice not to cut anybody off, including drivers of regular passenger vehicles, but cutting off a semi-truck is especially dangerous for multiple reasons. First, semi-trucks have massive blind spots. The right side of a semi-truck is particularly dangerous where blind spots are concerned: the blind spot on the right side of a semi can extend over two lanes of cars. Moving too quickly around semi-trucks is a good way to ensure that you end up in the blind spot and this can be dangerous.
Additionally, moving quickly around semi-trucks may put you at risk if there is a sudden change in traffic patterns and you need to come to a quick stop. If you are too close to the semi-truck, either in front or behind, this greatly increases your chances of a catastrophic collision with the truck.
Keep in mind that large vehicles may take 40% longer to stop as compared to smaller four-wheel passenger vehicles. This means that you should drive well in front of a semi-truck and, when merging, make sure to put plenty of space between you and the truck.