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Be safer when driving near and sharing the road with semi-trucks.

Stay Safe When Driving Near Semi-Trucks


Closed Caption

- Had a request from several smart drivers to do a video about driving around big trucks.

Big trucks are just another vehicle on the roadway.

Semi-trucks are just another vehicle on the road. Focus on what you're doing and get behind or in front of these vehicles.

Focus on what you're doing when driving around semi-trucks.

But if you're working in an industrial area or other places on the outskirts of town, you're going to be operating in and around big trucks.

Just another vehicle on the road.

You do what you need to do.

Don't Freak Out...Focus on What You're Doing

Focus on what you need to do.

And don't get distracted by the big trucks.

Had a comment from one of my smart drivers over on TikTok this morning saying that when they slowed down on the highway in their big truck, cars coming out on the freeway would freak out and then jam on the brakes.

That's the last thing you want to do.

When at an intersection, stay back from the semi-truck so you can see around and down the road. Don't follow these blindly into the intersection.

Stay back from big trucks in a line so you can see traffic in front.

They're just trying to help you out by slowing down a little bit.

So get your foot into it.

Get your foot into the throttle and keep it going.

Give Trucks a Lots of Space When Backing

8 to 10 car lengths

Now, if you're driving in an area like this, an industrial area, you can see there's trucks parked on the side of the road.

There's going to be trucks around.

Give them a wide birth if they're backing into a loading dock or whatnot.

Don't follow semi-trucks into a construction site. Give these a lot space.

Watch for big trucks exiting construction sites.

Otherwise, if you're on the roadway, just focus on what you're doing.

Don't Hang Out Next to Big Truck on the Road

Do not hang out next to big trucks unless you're in the city and they're driving beside you but try and adjust your speed so you can either get in behind them or you can get in front of them.

And it's fairly easy to do that because they don't have great acceleration.

You've got way more acceleration in your car.

So know that.

The other bit of information is if you're out on the highway and you're in the mountains or on hills or whatnot, know that the big trucks are going to slow down going uphill because they're loaded.

They're really heavy.

Never hang out beside a semi-truck on the road when driving. Get in front or behind the semi-truck for the best defensive posturning.

Most semi-trucks weight 20X what your little car weighs.

Some of these trucks are 80,000 pounds if they're in the United States.

Here in Canada, they can be upwards of 140,000 pounds.

Your car weighs about 3,000 pounds.

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Prevent Cracks in your Windshield

The other reason you don't want to hang out behind big trucks is due to the debris coming off the wheels, picking up the small stones, and hitting your windshield and causing chips and cracks in your windshield.

And that said, a super-"Bs" are running out at 140,000 pounds and completely loaded, working hard, full capacity for that truck.

Semi-trucks with two trailer can weigh 140,000lbs. This is 50X more than most cars on the road.

Semi-trucks are 75' feet (23m) long.

So you don't want to hang out next to that vehicle.

So you just get around expediently as I just did there and carry on down the road.

You can see that the big truck slowed down coming up the hill there.

Like the little engine that could.

Don't hang out beside semi-trucks. These have slow acceleration, so it's easy to get in front of the semi-truck.

Pass semi-trucks quickly.

I think I can.

I think I can.

Know that semi-trucks are going to slow down on hills.

So just know that if you're on a two-lane, oftentimes there's a passing lane.

The big trucks will move over to the passing lane.

If not, you're going to have to stay in behind them.

But if they're doing less than 40 miles an hour (70kph), they will activate their four-way flashers to indicate that they're traveling slow.

Semi-trucks will slow down on hills. Most will activate their 4-way flashers if travelling less than 40mph (70kph).

Most semi-trucks will slow down on hills. Be ready to pass on multi-lane roads.


And on most highways in this day and age, they're going to have passing lanes so that the big truck will move over to the slow lane and then you can get out and get around the big truck.

Most of the time with big trucks, they're going to stay in the right-hand lane.

Not always but most of the time.

So know that.

And the reason for them staying in the right lane is due to the fact that they have slow acceleration.

Some of them are shifting gears.

For the Most Part, Semi-Trucks Will Stay Right

And because of shifting gears and their slow acceleration off the line, they're staying in the right-hand lane and allowing other traffic to move around them and move past the big trucks when they're moving through towns and whatnot.

In most instances, semi-trucks will drive in the right-hand lane. If not, be on the look out for something that may cause a crash.

Semi-trucks with "Oversize" signs may have a load that overhangs into your lane of traffic.

The last point about big trucks is they're in the right-hand lane moving through town, they're trying to time the traffic lights so they don't have to bring the vehicle to a stop because it's a lot of work to get those big vehicles up to the posted speed limit again.

So they're slowing down.

They're working the throttle.

They're trying to get the traffic lights to go green because they're smart truck drivers.

Work smarter.

Focus on what you're doing when driving in industrial areas and on highways around semi-trucks.

Bigger vehicles have larger blind areas. Don't hang out in these blind areas.

Not harder.

Last point about big trucks, focus on what you're doing.

Don't hang out beside them.

Don't hang in behind them either, in their blind areas and whatnot, and you'll be all good when you're driving through industrial areas and high-density truck lanes.

Happy motoring, smart drivers.

And remember, pick up the best answer, not necessarily the right answer.

Have a great day.

Bye, now.

Some semi-trucks will have an escort. On 2-lane roads it will be in front; on multi-lane roads the escort vehicle will be behind the big truck.

Semi-trucks on gravel roads may kick up a lot of dust that could obscure your vision.

Hang on there one sec.

The thought of failing your driver's test is what keeps you up at night right now.

Click the link over here.

Check out the Smarter Driver course package that guarantees that you will pass your driver's test the first time.

Click the link and check that out.

And have a great day.

All the best.

Bye, now.

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