Semi Safety Facts And Figures

Dec 08

Semi image by Vladimir Dostalek

Semi image by Vladimir Dostalek

If you have ever driven anything length of time on a highway you have had to deal with semi trucks. These large vehicles form the backbone of much of the U.S. economy and there are more trucks on the road now than ever before. They can be difficult to deal with because they take up a lot of room on the road, but there is nothing to fear about them. Here are some interesting semi safety facts concerning semi travel that every driver should know:

Semi drivers are held to different standards than regular drivers because of the large size of their vehicles. The size of a semi alone is more dangerous because of simple physics. The bigger a vehicle is, the longer it is going to take to speed up and slow down. Since most semis are 53 feet long and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds that is a lot of mass to move. A semi can often transports different hazardous materials that can only be driven on certain highways. For example, A semi carrying hazardous material has to be driven on highways around the City of Indianapolis and not on Interstate 65 or 70 through the city. These semi safety facts may frighten you, but semi drivers consider them every time they get behind the wheel.

The increase in semi travel means we must share the road with them, and because of that, there are semi safety facts and tips that drivers can use to stay safe around semis:

  • Wind is a major factor. Since semis have a larger surface are than a car they are more prone to be affected by high winds. Even though they are heavier than cars, the surface area of a 53 foot long trailer gives then a wide surface to be pushed by gusts.
  • Avoid blind spots. The blind spot on a semi is much larger than on a car. Basically, if you cannot see a trucker’s mirror the driver cannot see you. That means that if a truck starts to move over the driver might not be able to see you. The right side of a semi is even more dangerous because it has a larger blind spot.
  • B aware of tire blowouts. Since semi trucks can carry up to 80,000 pounds the weight can often cause a tire blowout. If this happens, debris is thrown all about the roadway and the driver might even lose control if it is severe enough.
  • Pass on the left if possible. Since the right side of a truck has a larger blind spot you should always pass on the left, and do so as quickly as possible so the driver does not lose you in that blind spot, either.

Safety around semis is an important matter, but is easy to maintain if you follow the semi safety facts above.


Travis Miller

Travis has been blogging professionally since 2006 and has been working as a traffic safety advocate since 2012.

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