Why You Should Never Drive Beside a Semi-Truck, according to a Veteran Truck Driver

We have all been through it. You are driving down I-4 and a huge truck is occupying the middle lane. You try to decide should I stay behind or get past him. You decide to gun the car on the side of the truck with total dread that at any minute, if this trucker goes into your lane, it’s over. It is terrifying. 

All vehicles share the road with semi-trucks at one time or another, especially on Central Florida’s highways and interstates. It can be difficult to be patient when following or passing these massive trucks, particularly on interstates like I-4 that are also under construction.  However, it is important to drive with extreme caution around these 18-wheelers. The worst thing a driver can do, according to a veteran truck driver, is to drive directly beside a semi-truck. Driving directly beside a semi-truck or 18-wheeler for any length of time can increase your risk of being involved in fatal truck accident. 

A veteran truck driver recently spoke out about this danger in the Life Pro Tips Section of Reddit.  He said that this is a common mistake he sees so many drivers make on the road daily. He should know, after driving trucks for 22 years and logging in over 1 million miles on the road. He refers to the area directly beside the truck as the “kill zone” and explained why this specific zone is so dangerous and how it obtained its name.  

If a truck driver happens to lose control of the vehicle or needs to change lanes quickly and without notice, a smaller vehicle driving directly beside the truck, as well as the people in the car, are bound to be crushed if this happens. A side collision involving a semi-truck can almost certainly result in decapitation of people in the smaller car right beside the truck, and while some trucks have attachments to their trailers to avoid this tragedy, many trucks do not have them installed. 

Along those same lines, if the truck driver becomes fatigued and drifts into the next lane or the truck’s cargo shifts and causes the trailer to shift, as well, the same result can happen. As experienced Orlando truck accident attorneys, the most common causes of Florida trucking accidents we see, involve:

  • Driver Fatigue
  • Improper Truck Maintenance
  • Equipment Failure or Malfunction 
  • Poor Driving Conditions 
  • Improper Loading of Cargo 

This is not to say that you cannot pass a larger truck while on the highway. However, if you do have to pass a truck, it is important that you do this as quickly and as safely as possible. The longer you drive beside the truck, the more you are leaving yourself at risk of getting into a fatal accident. 

Another incident that can lead to a truck suddenly losing control and shifting lanes involves tire blowouts. Tire blowouts are quite common on interstates and if your vehicle is in the wrong place at the wrong time, they can be deadly if a semi-truck is involved. The tires are under such pressure that a blowout is essentially a mini explosion that can push the trailer with such force that the truck driver can lose control. If you happen to witness a tire blowout on a semi-truck, it is important to stay back from the trailer or, if you are close to the vehicle when the blowout occurs, try to create space as quickly as possible. 



The trucking company and the insurance company have their own legal departments who handle these types of claims and cases on a regular basis. One of the biggest mistakes someone involved in an auto accident can make is to walk into a settlement negotiation alone without any understanding of what rights he or she has. Most personal injury attorneys will meet with the person for a free consultation to discuss the facts of the case. It never hurts to at least bring the facts to an experienced attorney who can advise you on what to do before starting negotiations. In our offices in Orlando and Kissimmee, we Uber clients to our office if they are unable to come in their own vehicle.

The Benenati Law Firm has recovered millions of dollars for its injury clients and accident victims. In Orlando and throughout Central Florida victims injured in accidents or through negligence need only hit the 7s to reach the personal injury offices of the Benenati Law Firm. We understand the stresses related to the aftermath of these accidents and we can help take some of the pressure off you and your family, so you can concentrate on recovery. Our oath to you is handling your case from start to finish effectively, competently, and aggressively. Allow us the opportunity to give you the personal attention you deserve in your case. You pay us nothing unless we win your case.  Please do not hesitate to call our office today at 407-777-7777 for a free legal consultation. Abogado Hispano con experiencia en juicios sirviendo las necesidades legales de la comunidad de la Florida.