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Safety Around Semis or Other Large Trucks

Posted by 4love2love on June 12, 2011

When I was a little girl I heard the most horrible story. My uncle had killed someone. An older lady, in fact. But apparently, this wasn’t as uncommon as I initially thought, as my father explained to me later. My uncle never talks about it, but it is something that happened and it could happen to you as well if you aren’t careful.

An elderly woman had taken the off ramp to get onto the highway. She was not speeding up sufficiently to meet the rate of speed of other people travelling on the highway. My uncle was driving his semi, towing cars and driving down the highway. As the woman pulled onto the highway, she pulled right in front of my uncle who never saw her in his mirrors because she had been in one of the many blind spots a semi driver has. He drove the semi onward, not realizing she was there and ran right over the top of her car and killed her.

I bring this up because my boyfriend drives a semi and usually has a 53′ trailer attached to the back. Often he has nearly hit someone because they crossed a lane, pulling in front of him and slowed down, or tried to drive in his blind spot as he attempted to switch lanes, even though he had been signalling for a fair bit of time to give people plenty of opportunity to get out of his way. He had a near collision the other day because someone driving their car while talking on their cell phone almost pulled right into the side of him, which would have killed them.

What many don’t realize is that these trucks are very heavy. They are often carrying heavy loads, making the truck weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 80,000 lbs, and sometimes even heavier. They can’t just stop. Their mirrors are designed to give them a better view of what’s around them but the longer the trailer, the bigger the blind spots they have. Even a flatbed has a wide variety of blind spots and the truckers just simply cannot see everything around them. It is YOUR job to be careful around semis. Do not drive in their blind areas, and pay attention to their signals. If you see they are trying to get over, move out of their way. Do not talk on the cell phone while driving on a highway unless you are using a hands-free set, do no text, and do NOT pull in front of a semi and slow down. That is a quick way to get yourself and anyone in your car killed.

Make sure you have sped up properly when exiting off ramps to make sure you are matching the speed of traffic on the highway to avoid possible collisions, especially if you see a semi anywhere behind you.

This is not only for your safety, but for the safety of your loved ones, friends, and for the trucker who has to live with the terrifying aftermath of what accident you caused with your carelessness. Remember, they can’t always see you, and I know several people who have nearly been smashed into a bridge or run off the road because they were driving in the trucker’s blind spots.

Thank you for your attention in this matter, for everyone out there, yourself included and people like my boyfriend and uncle who are out in the traffic every day driving long hauls so that we can have the products we need in our stores.


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