Driver Education: Passenger Cars

Many crashes between heavy commercial trucks and passenger cars can be avoided by following these safety tips.

  • Be extra alert as you approach a large truck. They behave very differently from cars.
  • Avoid blind spots around trucks. If you can’t see a truck driver’s face in the side mirrors, the truck driver can’t see you.
  • Do not pass a truck on the right while the truck is turning right. Trucks must swing wide to the left to negotiate right turns safely, as the rear wheels follow a shorter path than the front wheels.
  • Do not cut in front of any large vehicle, including a truck or a bus. Since they require much more distance to stop in comparison to cars, forcing a large vehicle to stop quickly can result in a fatal accident.
  • Use the proper procedure to pass a large truck or bus on the highway. Accelerate slightly and maintain a consistent speed while passing. Wait until you can see the entire cab in your rear-view mirror before signaling and pulling in front of it.
  • Observe a truck’s turn signals before trying to pass it. If the truck appears to be starting a left turn, check which way the driver is signaling before passing the truck on the right.
  • Give trucks at least four to six seconds of space in wet conditions and at highway speeds.
  • Call authorities if you see unsafe driving.
  • Do not cut off a truck in traffic or on the highway to reach your exit or turn.

The term “tractor-trailer” or "big-rig" used on this website
refers to all Class 8 trucks which is the heaviest class.

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