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5 quick tips for sharing the road with trucks this summer

Summer is almost here, which means it's time to load up the car, top off the tank and hit the road. Whether you're planning a long road trip or just plan to drive to the nearest swimming pool, you will likely see extra traffic on the highway.

The roads aren't just full of summer adventurers -- they're also packed with commercial trucks, tour buses and other large vehicles. Read on for five simple, but important safety reminders to protect yourself when driving near trucks and buses. 

  1. Buckle up -- It can't be said too many times -- wearing your seat belt properly is one of the best ways to protect yourself in the event of an accident. It is also critical to ensure you have appropriate safety seats for any young children.
  2. Stay out of the "danger zone" -- Trucks and buses have large blind spots in the front, rear and both sides. Avoid these areas, especially when merging. When in doubt, it's always wise to keep a generous distance -- and assume that if you can't see the driver, they can't see you.
  3. Be focused and alert -- If something unexpected happens on the road, you want to be alert and ready for it. To do so, make sure you avoid driving when fatigued or distracted.
  4. Pass safely -- Observe the usual passing etiquete by signaling well in advance and leaving enough room for other drivers to operate safely. In addition, make sure the driver can see you before you pass. Give trucks and buses plenty of space when they are changing lanes.
  5. Don't cut in -- Trucks and buses take longer to slow down or stop, so it's difficult for their drivers to react quickly when you pull into their lane. In addition, you are likely to end up in a blind spot -- a highly dangerous situation. 

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