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What new drivers should know about sharing the road with trucks

You've been helping your teen get lots of practice behind the wheel as they prepare to take their road test. They've mastered driving at night, in the snow and rain, on mountain roads and highways.

Then one day as you're driving on Interstate 90, a semitruck approaches behind you. You see the look of terror in your teen's eyes. The truck passes. Now it's in front of you, but that doesn't seem to lessen your child's fear.

Driving near large trucks can be scary for even the most experienced drivers -- let alone beginners. However, if you teach your teen the "4 B's" of sharing the road with trucks, you can lower their anxiety level and help ensure that they'll stay safe. Let's look at them:

Be alert: When driving near a truck, it's more crucial than ever not to be distracted. Forget about switching to a different song or podcast. Don't answer that phone call or text that's coming through on your dashboard. Focus on your driving.

Be aware of the truck driver's blind spots: Teens need to learn that the blind spots on large trucks are much bigger than those on cars. They're known as "no-zones" because you need to stay out of them. How do you know where they are? A good assumption to make is that if you can't see the driver, they can't see you. These blind spots are another reason why we need to give trucks additional room on the road.

Be predictable: Don't make quick, erratic moves. It's best not to speed up and pass the truck. If you change lanes, signal first. The last thing a trucker needs is a motorist weaving in and out of their lane trying to get past them.

Be considerate: Yes, it's frustrating to get stuck behind a large, slow-moving truck. However, the driver isn't trying to annoy you. They're driving at a safe speed for them. If you can't safely get in a faster-moving lane, follow at a cautious distance (a minimum of three seconds behind) and don't let your frustration affect your driving.

Truck vs. car accidents generally end worse for those in the car than in the truck. If you or a loved one is injured in a crash caused by a reckless or negligent truck driver or a malfunctioning truck, make sure you get the compensation you need and deserve.

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