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What is a safe driving distance around trucks?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2022 | Trucking Accidents |

It’s unlikely you can stay away from trucks entirely when driving, but route choice can help. Truckers prefer multi-lane highways and streets that connect easily to the places they need to deliver. By taking a route that is less direct or narrower you may be able to avoid them.

Space is crucial when around 18-wheelers

Let’s say you see a truck ahead. Does it make sense to try and overtake if you will be turning off the road in a few minutes? Probably not, unless the road is wide enough that you can do this easily.

If you need to sit on the truck’s tail until a space opens up, then pull straight back in because there is a queue of traffic ahead, you might be better not overtaking at all. Doing so would require you to spend a lot of time in the truck’s danger zone, immediately behind, in front, and alongside.

Distance keeps you out of trucker’s blind spots

An 18-wheeler’s blind spots can extend:

  • 20 feet in front
  • 30 feet behind
  • One land to their nearside
  • Two lanes to their offside

They also need a long time to brake, about one vehicle length per 10 mph they are traveling. So pulling straight in front of a truck traveling at 50 mph is a massive risk, as the driver needs five times their truck length to stop, and much more in poor conditions.

If you are in a collision with a truck, the driver might complain you were too close. You, too, might wish you had kept further away. Yet, that does not mean the crash was your fault. Getting legal help to understand what happened will be crucial.