Getting involved in an accident with a semi-truck on the highway has a high potential to be fatal. Any kind of motor vehicle accident is very serious, but if you happen to be in a smaller four-wheeled passenger vehicle and crash into an 18-wheel semi-truck, the odds are not very good for you. This is why it is extremely important to understand how to maneuver safely around these roadway giants. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, buses and semi trucks take 40% longer to come to a stop as compared to traditional four-wheel passenger vehicles.
As a general rule it is not a good idea to cut anybody off, no matter the size of the vehicle, but cutting off a semi-truck can have dire consequences. It is important to understand that due to the greater momentum and, thus, velocity of these vehicles, they need more space to move. Another thing to keep in mind is that the blind spots on semi-trucks are much larger than they are on 4-wheel passenger vehicles. For example, on the right side of the semi-truck the blind-spot can often encompass two entire lanes of traffic.
For this reason, it is absolutely vital that you always pass a semi-truck on the left-hand side. Again, passing on the left is good procedure no matter what the vehicle type is, but with a semi-truck it could be the difference between a safe passing and ending up in an accident. The trucks often have big blind spots in front, behind, and to the left side of the vehicle as well. But the biggest blind spot is on the right and it is best practice to avoid this.