As a new driver merging next to a semi truck was terrifying. Even as a more experienced driver it can be challenging. When 80,000 pounds come barreling down the road at you it is imperative to not lose your cool and keep yourself safe.

Speed

Traveling at high speeds, loaded down with cargo a semi truck is like a rocket launching onto the highway. At best the truck will need at least 60 feet to successfully merge. In a four wheel car you are no match for a semi, adjusting your speed to let them go in front of you is the best way to share the road.

Blind spot

When sharing the road with a large transportation vehicle follow this rule; if you can’t see them, they can’t see you. Take extra care if you notice the load is labeled as “oversized” or “wide.” Be sure to allow enough room to drive at a safe distance when following an 18-wheeler.

Know the law

Legally, when passing a vehicle, the lane you need to use is the far left. Once you pass, move back to the right lane. Not only is it the law, it’s polite. Never cross a double yellow in order to pass. The danger is not being able to gauge what is up ahead; if something goes wrong there is no easy way out, especially when driving next to a semi.

Next time you feel like pulling out in front of a semi or not letting a truck merge onto the highway remember this one simple fact. A vehicle of that size requires five times the distance of your car to come to a full stop.