DON’T CUT OFF A TRUCK
Always give trucks room and never cut too close in front of them. Even in ideal conditions and with their large breaking systems, a truck can weigh substantially more than a car so it takes more time and distance for it to slow down and come to a stop.
It’s okay to pass a truck or bus, but do it safely. When you need to pass, be sure there is at least one car length for every 10 miles per hour you are traveling between you and the truck you are passing before pulling in front of the truck. For example, if traveling 60 mph, try to create at least six car lengths between the front of the truck and your vehicle before merging into the lane.
DOWNLOAD THE SAFE passing REFERENCE SHEET (PDF)
It’s okay to pass trucks of all types (including multiple trailer combinations). Remember to make sure you have extra time to get around these larger vehicles, regardless of the road you’re on. Even on a level highway, it takes an extra three to five seconds to pass a truck than to pass a passenger vehicle.
TIPS TO PASS TRUCKS SAFELY
- Make sure you have extra time to get around trucks.
- When passing, if you can see the entire front of the truck in your rearview mirror, it’s safe to merge over.
- If you’re within the first 20 feet in front of a truck, the driver can’t see you.
- Once you return to the right lane after passing, do not slow down.
- Trucks need more room to stop than passenger vehicles.
ARE YOU TRUCK SMART?
Look for Two Headlights in Your Rearview Mirror or Steer Clear
Measuring your car lengths while driving can be a tricky thing. Because of that, we have an easy rule for you to use on the road in knowing when you are safe to get back in front of a semi. Look for both of the truck’s headlights, or the full front of the truck, in your rearview mirror. If you can see that, then you know you are safe to get back in front of the truck without cutting him off – which is extremely dangerous for you!