The speed limit is 70, there are only two lanes on the Virginia interstate, and the majority of vehicles on the road have 18 wheels. Driving alongside semi-trucks can be nerve-wracking, especially when the weather makes things hard to see. Esurance outlines the two keys to navigating around these large trucks safely: awareness and patience.
Drivers in normal-sized cars have a responsibility to stay visible to truck drivers at all times in order to avoid negligence. Truckers have a massive blind spot. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commercial drivers cannot see certain areas on all four sides of their truck. That includes 20 feet of the pavement in front of them, 30 feet behind them and about 20 feet on their sides as well. A good rule of thumb is this: If a car driver cannot see the truck driver, then the truck driver probably cannot see the car.
Because of the wide blind areas that truck drivers have to deal with, it is important for other drivers to wait for the right moment before passing them. Following a truck too closely could force a car to slam right into the back of a truck that suddenly stops. On the other hand, a car that cuts off a truck could be rear-ended. Either situation could end with someone from the car in the hospital; both are avoidable by giving trucks plenty of space.
Taking enough time and precautions on a road where semi-trucks rule is essential to avoiding an accident. Stay patient when driving with 18-wheelers; a quick attempt to pass could be fatal. On the highway, it is always better to be safe than sorry.