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18-wheelers are an essential method of transporting goods across the country. While truckers provide a critical service, their vehicles can be dangerous for drivers who do not practice proper safety around them. Truckers cannot be solely responsible for keeping other drivers safe. It is up to each driver to know what they need to do to protect themselves.

Even though it is easy to see these large vehicles on the road, they can still be fatal. Others take precautions on the road to keep them from suffering catastrophic injuries in an accident with an 18-wheeler. Here are a few actions divers can take to defend themselves:

Maintain longer distances from trucks

Trucks have blind spots that go a long way ahead of and behind the vehicle. Truckers cannot see other cars for up to 30 feet on either end of their vehicle. Semi-trucks also take considerably longer to come to a complete stop, so be sure you give them the space they need to stop completely.

Avoid staying on the side

Large trucks have significant blind spots on either side of them. If you remain in an adjacent lane, the truck may change lanes into. High winds also can push a truck into another lane against the trucker’s will. If possible, do not stay on either side of a truck.

Pass the vehicle safely

A trucker is more likely to see a vehicle on their left side. Avoid speeding past the vehicle and making sure they give the trucker sufficient time to see you as you pass. When merging in front of a truck into their lane, remember that a trucker cannot see you if you cannot see them in your rearview mirror.

Signal for longer

When making any turn or lane change, begin signaling sooner than you usually would. By giving truckers additional time to react to your movement, you provide them with the time they may need to adjust their vehicle accordingly.

Give trucks the space they need

Maintaining extra distance in the front or back of a vehicle is not all the space a truck needs. When trucks make a right turn, they take up considerably more space than conventional cars. It can be easy for a truck to clip another vehicle if they are too close to them during the turn. Make sure you are clear out of the way of a truck’s turning path.

Stay patient

All of these tips can help to avoid accidents. In addition to these suggestions, remember to stay patient. Trucks cannot drive as fast or accelerate as quickly as smaller vehicles. Attempting to speed around a truck can cost you your life, so make sure you give trucks the time they need.