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4 tips for safe driving around commercial vehicles

You will constantly be around commercial vehicles on Tennessee roadways. As part of being a safe driver, it is essential to understand how to drive around these large vehicles. They are not simply just bigger than your vehicle. There are many different aspects of a commercial vehicle that make them perform differently from yours. In addition, the drivers have limitations that you do not have.

While every driver is responsible for driving safely and obeying road laws, it is also important that you are aware of those drivers and vehicles around you. Understanding how to safely drive around large vehicles can help you to prevent or avoid accidents. Here are four tips to always keep in mind when you are on the road.

1. Make contact with the driver

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration suggests that you always try to make eye contact with the driver of a commercial vehicle or at minimum make sure you can see the driver in the side mirror before maneuvering around the vehicle. This will help you to ensure the driver knows you are there or can see that you are there.

2. Give them space

Large vehicles need more room. If there is a sudden stop, it will need more room to stop. It needs more room to turn. You need to give it that room. Do not crowd a large vehicle by riding too close or driving too close.

3. Know physical limitations

Large vehicles have many physical limitations that your vehicle does not. For example, you can stop pretty fast if you recognize a danger up ahead while a large vehicle cannot do so. It is heavier, so it takes longer to stop. Maneuvering the commercial vehicle also takes more room. When you turn, for example, you take very little space to do so, but a large vehicle needs additional space because of its design.

4. Recognize visual limitations

The large size of the vehicle also means minimized visuals from the driver’s seat of a commercial vehicle. While you can see almost completely around your vehicle, a large truck, for example, cannot see directly behind it nor can it see right up beside its bed.

Commercial vehicles have several blind spots where the driver cannot see. If you are hanging out in a blind spot, you subject yourself to a potential collision.

Commercial vehicles serve important roles in our society, so we need them on the roads. However, they also pose huge safety risks to others on the roadway in an accident situation. To avoid getting into an accident with one, you need to learn how to drive safely around them.


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