Semi trucks are involved in many fatal accidents in Indiana. Negligent truck drivers, unsafe road conditions and defective car parts can contribute to these crashes.

A trucking accident could cause life-changing personal injuries. As a driver in South Bend, you can decrease your odds of getting into a semi truck accident by following a few basic safety tips.

Stay out of the No Zone

A semi truck’s No Zone refers to the large blind spots on all sides of the truck. The No Zone extends two lanes to the right of the truck, one lane to the left, 20 feet in front of the truck and 30 feet to the rear.  Do your best to stay out of these blind spots when driving near a large truck on the 90, 31, 20 or another highway. If you must enter a No Zone, pass through as quickly as possible and avoid hovering.

Merge slowly and smoothly

Large trucks cannot stop as quickly as smaller, lighter vehicles. Never merge directly in front of a semi truck or cut a truck off and hit your brakes. The truck driver may not be able to stop in time to avoid a rear-end collision. Signal your intent to change lanes in advance. Make sure you have adequate room before merging in front of a semi.

Drive defensively

Defensive driving means being constantly alert for bad drivers. Expect the unexpected. Rather than assuming a truck driver is paying attention and following the rules, assume the opposite. Watch large trucks near you and prepare at all times to slow down, stop or move to avoid a collision.

Leave room for turning trucks

Semi trucks have large turning radiuses. If you see at truck trying to make a turn in South Bend, leave plenty of space. The truck will need at least an extra traffic lane to make a wide turn. Trying to squeeze between the turning truck and the curb could lead to the truck crushing you. Keep your distance and wait for the semi to fully complete the turn before proceeding.