Driving School vs. Parent Teaching for Teaching Driving Skills

Driving School vs Parent Teaching | 911 Driving SchoolGetting a driver’s license is a big step in anyone’s life, no matter the age of the newly licensed driver. The road to learning to drive is a necessary path to take before licensing though. If you are considering getting a license and aren’t sure if you would rather take a professional course or have a parent teach you to drive, here are some points to consider.

Who Knows the Road Better?

Just because someone knows how to drive doesn’t mean they are a good teacher.

It also doesn’t mean that they know all the laws.

In fact, some estimates suggest that approximately half of all licensed drivers could not pass the written portion of a driver’s test. There are many laws that people don’t need to actively remember and signs that people don’t see, so drivers forget the information. After all, if it doesn’t impact their daily driving experience, why bother?

Unfortunately, this means that they will likely be unable to impart all the information that a new driver needs to pass their tests.

A driving instructor is constantly teaching the laws, grading student quizzes, and getting extra training on current laws to keep up their teaching certificate. Knowing the laws is their job, which means they are around them all the time so they can’t forget how far to park from a stop sign or what that strange sign means on the side of the road.

At 911 Driving School, the experience goes even further than that. Our instructors are or have been, police officers. They know the laws because they teach them, but also because they have enforced them.

Can You Provide a Structured Approach to Learning?

Often, when parents teach their children to drive, they cover the important techniques, skills, and laws at random or whenever a particular circumstance arises.

What happens if that situation never arises before the test comes around?

At a driving school, students will have an opportunity to participate in an instructor-led classroom and get the necessary time in behind the wheel. This experience will be based on a structured and proven method that covers all information a fledgling driver really needs.

It starts with the full range of basics and then builds on them until the student is ready for more complex maneuvers.

What is Your Level of Comfort with Your Parents?

Parents are a great resource for support and reviewing concepts for driving. But do you feel comfortable asking questions and drilling them until they perfect a certain technique?

If a parent turns out to not be a great teacher, is that going to be awkward for the child? Is there already tension in the relationship? Is the parent likely to yell when the child makes a mistake? Are you more likely to yell back at them?

It is important to remember that taking driving lessons from a driving school doesn’t mean your parents are completely cut out of the process. There are required driving hours that need to get done before a license is issued and a licensed person over the age of 18 must be in the car the whole time. This means many parents are riding in the passenger seat while their teenager is learning to drive. If you need extra practice hours, parents are a great resource.

If you have seriously considered the three questions above, you should know which option is best for you. Driving lessons are a big, important step in everybody’s life. If you are looking for a great school with attentive, knowledgeable instructors, check out our schools for a location near you.

Is Driving School Worth the Cost?

Is Driving School Worth the Cost? | 911 Driving SchoolLearning to drive is a complicated process. Most adults get a license and drive a car, but that doesn’t mean they are qualified to teach another person to drive. Some students starting out try to have a parent or friend teach them to drive or decide to try and self-teach with the state-supplied books and pamphlets. Signing up to attend a driving school is not cheap, but many wonder, is it worth the cost?

What Does Driving School Include?

Learning to drive involves more than just knowing the basics on how to operate a vehicle. There are many laws to learn and requirements to meet to get a license. The cost of paying for driving school covers an instructor who knows all this information and teaches it, but there is more included in the cost, such as:

  • Supplies for the class
  • Driving practice in a car
  • Road testing (**This is not always included in the cost of the course but students have the convenience of booking a knowledge test and road test in states that allow driving schools to offer this service)
  • Access to programs
  • Technical support for online courses

Each of these works together to make sure that each student gets a high quality, comprehensive education. The best education makes sure students really understand the material, making them better drivers their entire life, not just until they get their license. Over time, this can save a lot of money from not paying for parking tickets, traffic violations, and repairing vehicles after an incident.

Another way that driving school saves money for parents and teens is through insurance. Many insurance companies offer discounts for new drivers who have enrolled in a driving school.

Taking a defensive driving course decreases the chances of getting into a collision, which means that insurance companies process fewer claims overall, which is why they encourage enrollment. Once that discounted percentage is taken off each month, the savings add up to save a significant amount.

Other Benefits of Driving School

There are other benefits of enrolling in a driving school that aren’t always counted in the cost. This includes better relationships for parents and teens, more experienced teachers, and having an extra resource. Peace of mind knowing your student has been taught by a driving professional

Building Better Relationships

Teens often struggle to take criticism from their parents, even if it is well-meaning. It is hard to take advice from someone you are comfortable with. Add in all the frustration that comes with driving for the first time and trying to learn information and it can create a wall in a relationship.

Having a third-party instructor can help ease the tension and lets parents be supporters in the process instead of the authority figure. With the expected level of respect, teens will often listen and obey the instructor too.

More Experienced Teachers

Trying to learn to drive from a manual, parents, or friend does not always lead to the best driver’s education. Driving lessons from an experienced teacher who has been trained in proper teaching methods is more effective.

They also know the laws better and stay up to date on changes because it is their job to know this information. At 911 Driving School, we employ police officers and first responders who have an in-depth understanding and knowledge of laws since they enforce them.

Having an Extra Resource

While search engines are a great resource for getting fast answers to simple questions, it doesn’t always work correctly. If students have a question, our instructors are there to give answers. Having an extra resource for learning the material and explain things thoroughly is a big benefit for student drivers.

Getting a Quality Education

Driving a vehicle is a privilege that should be taken seriously. Having a quality education means more success on the road and safer roads for everyone. Whether you are interested in adult driving classes or driving lessons for teens, enrolling in a driving school will give you a quality drivers education.

A Checklist to Master Driving Skills

A Checklist to Master Driving Skills | 911 Driving SchoolTaking an online drivers education course is great for learning how to drive. The information that is critical for driving is taught at a pace that fits each student individually.

As a parent of a teen driver, one of the best things you can do is take your student out driving to make sure they are getting in the practice required to feel comfortable behind the wheel. To help aid in those efforts, here are some skills that you can work on with your student so that they will be ready for their driving test.

They are split into three individual lists- beginning, intermediate, and advanced.

Beginning Driving Skills

This list is intended to help new drivers who are just driving for the first time or are not prepared enough to drive on the road in traffic yet. Here are some of the suggested beginning skills:

  • Pre-vehicle inspection: this includes doing a walk-around of the vehicle, making sure areas are clear from debris, hazards, and small children.
  • Reading dashboard gauges: noticing gas levels, how to read the speedometer, and knowing if there are any warning lights are on.
  • Review of all buttons and levers: Know where everything is located, such as turn signals, windshield wipers, headlights, hazard lights, etc.
  • Properly adjusting and using mirrors
  • Accurate, smooth maneuvering of the vehicle
  • Smooth turns done at an appropriate speed
  • Backing Up
  • Proper driver posture and positioning: hand position, foot position, etc
  • Controlled, smooth stopping
  • Parking in a marked stall
  • Turning off the car

Intermediate Driving Skills

Once the beginning skills are mastered and the driver is comfortable with the basics of a vehicle, it is time to move that experience on to the road. Note the level of traffic and don’t attempt driving while there are too many cars out. Ensure that visibility is good too with clear weather and good lighting. It is also important to make sure there is a good level of mastery for driving laws and knowing what signs mean. Here are the intermediate driving skills to work on:

  • Yield to right of way to vehicles and pedestrians
  • Keep a safe, 2-second minimum following distance between cars
  • Anticipate hazards and actions of other drivers
  • Communicates with other drivers
  • Acknowledges and can state the meaning of road signs
  • Obey speed limits
  • Use turn signals appropriately
  • Park vehicle on a curb
  • Park vehicle at an incline
  • Park at an angle
  • Enter and exit roundabouts correctly
  • Enter and exit intersections correctly, following traffic signals if applicable
  • Uses passing techniques properly and controlled
  • Keeps attention on the road

Advanced Skills

Once the beginning and intermediate skills are mastered, it is time to move on to the advanced skills. Each section should build on the other and the new driver should have a good level of comfort executing the prior skills. Here are the skills to work on with your advanced student driver:

  • Driving calmly and correctly in rush hour traffic
  • Adjusts driving during bad weather and bad or low lighting
  • Driving on expressways with proper entering and exiting
  • Cautious driving around semi-trucks
  • Uses caution around motorcycles and bicycles
  • Able to handle complex driving situations
  • Handles multiple driving hazards
  • Uses proper defensive driving techniques
  • Looks ahead and plans for escape routes
  • A solid knowledge of emergency procedures

Time for the Driving Test

Once a new driver has mastered the above lists, they are ready for a driving test. Identify skills that can use more practice, but also make sure you are encouraging and acknowledge areas of improvement. Whether you are helping a student with teen driver’s education or you are taking adult drivers education, doing an evaluation with this driving skills checklist can improve the chances of passing the driving test for licensing.

Routine Car Maintenance You Should Know When Owning a Car

Routine Car Maintenance You Should Know When Owning a Car | 911 Driving School

Owning a car is a big responsibility. Not only does this vehicle mean freedom, but it also means taking care of it so that it runs well. Whether you need to know when to get it done by a professional or just want to handle the smaller things yourself, the more you know, the better.

Here are some basic parts of car maintenance that every car owner should know.

1. Changing the oil

Oil is an essential part of any vehicle. It lubricates the engine parts to prevent damage. If there is no oil, parts grind together and ruin the engine.

Dirty motor oil can also damage the engine because it causes build up on the parts, creating friction from parts rubbing together. Make sure that you check your owner’s manual for what kind of oil is best for the engine before you put any oil in your vehicle.

2. Checking tire pressure

The wheels are the only thing keeping your car moving. Keeping them functioning well is vital to preventing many different forms of damage.

The most basic form of tire maintenance is checking the pressure in them. The recommended PSI for tires is located on the driver’s door jamb, owner’s manual, and often on the tires themselves. Check the pressure about every month and do it before driving more than a mile to get an accurate reading.

Another good tip is to check the pressure in your spare tire while you’re in tire-checking-mode.

3. Jumpstarting a car

Batteries die sometimes and require a jumpstart. Rather than calling roadside assistance every time it happens, carry jumper cables in your car and know how to use them.

Find someone with a vehicle who is willing to loan you their battery. Put both vehicles in neutral and turn off the ignition. Attach one of the red clips to your battery’s positive terminal and the other red clip to the other vehicle’s positive terminal. Then, attach one of the black clips to the other car’s negative terminal, with the other black clip attached to an unpainted metal surface. Turn the ignition on your vehicle and it should start.

Remember not to turn your car off until you reach your destination.

4. Check fluids

Checking the motor oil level is good, but there are other fluids that need your attention too. Transmission fluid is another vital fluid that requires regular checking. It also has a dipstick that you check under the hood. Make sure the levels are steady and not leaking.

Other fluids to inspect are the coolant, brake fluid, and washer fluid. Each has a cover under the hood that needs to be removed and inspected. For the coolant, it is best to check levels in the transparent refill container, never through the radiator cap.

5. Keeping the battery clean

Knowing how to change a battery is one thing that most drivers should know how to do, but not everyone does. When doing all your other under-the-hood inspections, just make sure the battery is free from corrosion.

If you notice build up, mix baking soda with a little water and use a wire brush to apply a little solution and scrub. This will keep your battery functioning better and ready to shock if you need to jump it.

6. Examine belts and hoses

Most cars and SUVs use belts in the engine to keep it going. The timing belt is especially important. Check all belts for tears, rips, cracking, glazing, and any chunks missing.

If you see any of these problems, it needs to be replaced. Hoses also need to be checked since they prevent over-heating. Look closely to make sure there are no cracks, leaks, or bulges. If you find any, get them replaced.

7. Changing the windshield wipers

Windshield wiper blades are so important but rarely do drivers notice they need to be replaced until they are in the middle of a storm and can’t see clearly.

Check your windshield wiping blades a few times a year to make sure they wipe completely without leaving streaks and that they aren’t screeching when in use. If you notice either of these problems, replace them.


Once you have mastered these must-know car maintenance items, work to learn more. Understanding the basics about how a car functions can help you better take care of your vehicle. Not every car owner wants to do these jobs themselves, but it is important you know the basics.

Many driver’s education courses teach you the basic information, but getting out and trying it is the best teacher.

Emergency Preparedness Kits for Your Car: What You Should Have in Yours

Emergency Preparedness Kits for Your Car | 911 Driving SchoolPeople depend on their cars to be reliable, but sometimes emergencies happen. It is a good idea for drivers to prepare for the worst by keeping an emergency preparedness kit in their car. If you have never made one before and need a little help in thinking of items to stow away, here are some great items to go in your kit.

A First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit in your car comes in handier than you think. There are plenty of pre-packaged first aid kits on the market, but if you want to make your own, it isn’t too hard. Some items to include are band-aids, antibiotic ointment, hand sanitizer, gauze pads, an ace bandage, pain medication, bug spray, burn cream, tweezers, sunscreen, and antiseptic.

Having these items is helpful if you come upon an injury or just scrape your knee at the park. Since there are so many small items in a kit, make sure you store them in a container and leave it in your vehicle.

Breakdown Supplies

If your car breaks down, it is important you have the tools to fix it. Even if you don’t know what to do, having some basic items on hand will be helpful if someone comes along to help that does know what to do. Some items you should keep in your car are a spare tire, a tire iron, flashlight, jumper cables, and road flares.

Extra Clothing

There are several reasons to keep clothing in your car. There is the practical side of knowing you have extra clothes for work, school, or social events if you spill something on your clothes, but there is a better reason.

If your car breaks down or you get stuck in bad weather for a long time, you can layer up clothing to stay warm. You never know where you will get stuck or what you will be wearing. Keeping a spare jacket, coat, or rain poncho in the trunk is great if you aren’t sure when you will be stranded.

Food and Water

Keep at least a few water bottles in your trunk, along with snacks. If you ever get delayed, stuck in traffic, or stranded somewhere without food to purchase, you will be grateful to have something to eat.

Some items to consider are granola bars, fruit leather, jerky, gum, and hard candy (to suck on for a long time). Since food is perishable, make sure you are rotating these items so that you don’t have to eat food that has gone bad.

Other emergencies

Other items to consider keeping in your car for miscellaneous needs and emergencies are: a fire extinguisher for flames, a blanket to keep warm or wrap around a serious injury, a roll of duct tape for random needs, and baby wipes to clean up spills.

Keeping a little extra cash in your kit is a good idea too, just in case you forget your wallet or have an unexpected need come up without a credit card.

Extra Items that Fit Your Situation

No one is going to know your situation better than you do. If you are a family with small children, you might want to pack an extra pack of diapers and wipes, spare formula, and extra pacifiers.

If you have small kids, consider adding toys or coloring books. If you are a single young adult, you don’t need those things in your car, so find items that work for you, like a spare phone charger.


Another important thing is to cater to your environment. Are you in the middle of winter in the Midwest? You might want to pack a lot of extra blankets. If you live in southern Texas, you might want to pack a lot of extra water bottles and a hat.

Consider your own situation and location and find what works for you. Having an emergency kit in your car will not only make you more prepared but also give you more peace of mind.

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter

How to Prepare Your Car for Winter | 911 Driving SchoolChecking your car regularly is important to keep it functioning correctly. As the weather gets warmer and colder, it acts as a reminder for you to do some work on your car. Since both hot and cold affect your car differently, here are the three things you should do for the winter weather.

Get a check-up

Taking a trip to the mechanic is a great first step. A professional inspection will go over the basics. The first step is checking your oil. When the weather cools down, the oil will thicken and make it harder to lubricate your engine properly.

The other important fluid to check for cold weather is the antifreeze. If the mixture isn’t right, the water might freeze in your radiator, causing some serious damage.

Next, your belts and hoses will be checked. Since winter is hard on these parts, it is important to make sure they are in good enough condition to last the winter.

Lastly, it is important to verify that your tires are ready for winter with enough air pressure and tread. Both play an important part of having good traction on wet and icy roads.

Test basic functions

Two things that anyone can do, regardless of car expertise, are to check your wiper blades and four-wheel drive. Finding out that either one of these doesn’t work while in a storm can create a dangerous situation.

Make sure your blades completely clear your windshield. If they don’t, change them out for new ones that can do the job.

Checking your four-wheel drive is also important to do before you are in a storm. Remind yourself and the other drivers in your home how to turn it on and off. Make sure it engages and disengages smoothly. If there are any problems, get it fixed before you need it in a storm.

Prepare for the worst

No matter how much you check and get maintenance done, there is still a possibility that you will end up in an emergency. Stocking your car with some essentials can really help you out if it happens. To start, always make sure you have the tools necessary to change a flat tire, including a spare. Carry other essentials such as a flashlight and external charger for your phone, in case you need them.

Other things that are good to have in your trunk are water bottles, snacks, a blanket, ice scraper, and windshield washer fluid. During the winter, you can also add chains for your tires, just in case you need them for traction.


Depending on where you live, you might not need to complete every step on this list. However, if you live in an area where it does get freezing, it’s important to prepare every year. Keep a list of the work you do so you can refer to it the next year. If you don’t live in an area where it gets cold, do this work before you head to a colder climate for the holidays.

Driving Responsibly During the Holidays

Driving Responsibly During the Holidays | 911 Driving SchoolThe holiday season is a time when families come together, friends get together, and employers throw a party for their employees. It is common for these types of functions to have a lot of alcohol available for celebrating. Whether you are attending these parties or hosting them, here are some tips you can use to help yourself and others drive responsibly.

Attending a Party

There are plenty of parties to attend, which provides plenty of opportunities to practice responsible driving habits. The best thing you can do is plan to get home safely after the party if you plan to drink at the party. If you arrange a ride ahead of time, you are more likely to follow through with it instead of debating your fitness for driving at the moment. This way, you can just enjoy your time at the party and know that you have a safe ride home.

If you are attending a party with a group, have a designated driver who will stay sober to drive everyone else home at the end. If you are the designated driver, take your job seriously and don’t drink any alcohol. Ask if there is alcohol in a drink before taking a sip. If your group is attending multiple parties together, take turns being the designated driver so that everyone can participate at some point.

If you are attending a party alone and plan to drive home, you still need to have a plan before going. Tell others that you trust about your plans to drive home and won’t be drinking during the party. Steer clear of friends who will pressure you into drinking. Don’t give into temptation or hang around the alcohol and always double check that you aren’t drinking a spiked punch.

Hosting a Party

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were an estimated 10,874 people who were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2017. As the host of a party, you have some responsibility to make sure that your guests don’t end up in these statistics. If you plan to serve alcohol at your party, consider the following suggestions.

  • Provide a variety of drinks, including options that don’t contain alcohol
  • Limit the number of alcoholic drinks available to each guest
  • Provide a list of car service or rideshare numbers for guests who have been drinking
  • Be proactive at noticing and intercepting anyone who is impaired and planning to drive
  • Don’t drink at your own party so that you can offer rides home, if necessary

As the host of the party, you can do a lot to keep your guests safe. Provide a fun atmosphere and take steps to watch out for your guests. If it comes down to it, be prepared to take someone’s keys away if they try to get behind the wheel while drunk. You might just save their life and possibly others on the road too. Even if it makes them mad, one day they will thank you for caring enough to intervene.

Whether you are attending parties this holiday season or hosting a party, it is possible to have a good time while still driving responsibly. By following these tips, you can have an enjoyable time at your parties while also getting home safely.

The 4 P’s for Dealing with Heavy Holiday Traffic

The 4 P's For Dealing with Heavy Holiday Traffic | 911 Driving SchoolThe holidays are a magical time of year with the lights, sights, and feeling in the air. One thing that isn’t so fun about the holidays is the extra traffic on all the roads. It is frustrating to try and get anywhere.

If you find yourself in some extra heavy holiday traffic this year, keep in mind the four P’s for dealing with it; plan extra time, practice good driving habits, proactive driving, and patience.

Plan extra time.

Times of heavy traffic like weekend evenings, dinner time, rush hours, and around special events, it is important that you allow some extra time for driving. Leave early to reach your celebration on time and don’t rely on estimated GPS travel time. Car crashes, construction, and more drivers on the road at once add up to heavy delays during the holidays.

If you want to make sure you reach your holiday work party, family function, or any other get-together on time, give yourself some extra time to get there. This will help you feel happier and less stressed behind the wheel, which decreases risky maneuvers in traffic and road rage during your travels.

Practice good driving habits.

Following proper driving etiquette is more than just good advice, it’s the law. During times of heavy traffic, it is especially important to follow procedure. Make sure that you signal before turning, switching lanes, or waiting for a parking spot.

Don’t follow the car in front of you too closely and give them plenty of room to drive. Watch how fast you are traveling. Drivers tend to drive too fast when they have been feeling stuck to make up time. If there is the typical holiday weather of rain or snow, it is especially dangerous.

Proactive driving.

While no one can read minds, you can anticipate the actions of other drivers. Stay safe by watching cues, like attempting to switch lanes, not watching the light change at an intersection, or staying vigilant for a driver suddenly pulling into traffic. If you are watching other drivers, chances are good that you are giving the road your attention and not paying attention to a cell phone.

Patience is a virtue.

While the holidays are full of fun and giving, there is also a lot of stress. People are out buying gifts, everyone out rushing around to the different sales, and others are trying to travel for the holidays to see their family and friends. It isn’t easy to get everything done and can leave you feeling tired and impatient on the roads.

Remember to slow down, bring things to keep kids busy in the back seat, and find ways to make your time in the car more enjoyable, like audiobooks, podcasts, or listening to a new Christmas album. Keeping yourself calm and trying to be more patient can lead to a more enjoyable experience on the road, even during heavy holiday traffic.


These four tips are a great starting point when dealing with heavy traffic during the holidays. Following them can help guide you to make better choices behind the wheel and having a more successful holiday this year.

Parallel Parking in 5 Simple Steps

Parallel Parking in 5 Simple Steps | 911 Driving SchoolNothing sends chills through the spine of a student in driver’s education like parallel parking. Thanks in part to Hollywood, this form of parking has become notorious for being difficult. But what if it isn’t as difficult as you might think? With some patience and practice, parallel parking can be mastered by remembering these five simple steps to doing it right.

Selecting a Space

The first step to parallel parking can really impact how difficult the parking job will be, so pick carefully. Choose a spot to park your car that has enough space to fit your vehicle. While this might sound like an obvious consideration, many people struggle with parallel parking because they pick a space that is too small.

As you pull up to a spot, notice how much room you will have in front and behind your car once parked. There needs to be a comfortable amount for you to back into the spot and straighten out, but also enough room for the cars around you to pull out easily. If you aren’t sure the spot is big enough, it is usually better to just pass and go find a different parking space.

Signal and Pass the Spot

Parallel parking isn’t done by pulling in with the front of your car first. You must pass the spot and back into it to do it successfully. Let the drivers around you know that you intend to park there by turning on your blinker. Pull up next to the car you will be parking behind and line up your back bumper with their back bumper. This puts you in the prime position for parallel parking.


Slowly begin to back up into the spot, aiming toward the back-right corner of the parking spot with your bumper. Turn and watch over your shoulder, but also utilize your rear-view mirrors to get a clear picture of your surroundings. Once you are lined up with the bumper of the car in front of you, you are in the spot and ready for step four.

Straighten the Tires

Once you are in the spot, straighten out the tires by centering the wheel. This will help you finish pulling all the way in without hitting the cars around you.

Center the Car

Do your best to center your vehicle between the front and rear cars. Again, you want to make sure that both drivers will have enough space to pull out without hitting your vehicle. Once you are centered, you can put the car in park.


After completing these five steps, you have successfully parallel parked your vehicle. You may safely exit your car and go about your business. This may all seem like a lot to remember at first, but after a few practice parking jobs, you will start to feel more comfortable doing it.

When just starting out, it might be best to do some practice parking between two orange cones that give you a generous amount of space between them. Move them closer together as you get better at parking between them. This will help build your confidence and help you stay calm during your driving test.

How to Pass a Semi

How to Pass a Semi | 911 Driving SchoolDriver’s education covers a lot of important topics, but one thing people seem to panic about and do incorrectly is passing a semi-truck. Since these trucks are bigger and slower, they intimidate a lot of drivers.

Too many others get impatient and do improper maneuvers to get around or ahead of the trucks. Here are some basic things you should know before, during, and after passing a semi.

Before You Pass

As you approach a semi-truck, there are some things you need to know. One of the most important things to remember is that there are massive blind spots for truck drivers. Because of the height of the driver, the length of the trailers they pull, and their inability to have a good view behind the truck, there are blinds spots on the sides, front, and back of the trucks.

Some trucks have stickers on the back indicating the distances you should give them, but not all do. As a good rule of thumb, if you can’t see the driver of the truck in their side-view mirrors, they can’t see you. If you are in front of them in the same lane and can’t see their face in your rear-view mirrors, you might be too close for them to see you.

It is especially important between the times of 6:00 pm to 6:00 am, which is when 37% of fatal crashes involving a truck happen because visibility is drastically decreased.

As You Pass

Once you begin to pass, don’t linger in their blind spots for too long. Drivers are more likely to see you if you keep moving quickly past them. If they do not know that you are there, the driver might try to merge into your lane and right into your car. Accelerate as you pass and don’t slow down until you have passed them completely.

Another important thing to remember is that you should always pass trucks on their left. The biggest blind spot for a semi driver is on the right of the truck. Chances of the driver not seeing you are increased if you are on that side of the truck.

It is also good to remember that you should always pass cars on the left because those are the passing lanes. According to law, slower traffic is supposed to stay right. If there are more than two lanes going in the same direction, it should range in slowest traffic in the far-right lane with each lane to the left going a little faster. This traffic pattern keeps traffic flowing smoothly.

After You Pass

Once you have passed a semi, you should not merge immediately in front of it. Instead, give them a lot more room than a normal car because of the blind spot on the front of the truck. Merging too quickly is the same as cutting the truck driver off. This is not only rude, but it is very dangerous.

The typical truck weighs over 10,000 pounds and when traveling at 60 miles per hour on the freeway, it takes the length of about 3 football fields to come to a complete stop. This is the second most common maneuver that drivers do around semis that is unsafe. If you merge and then brake suddenly or slow down, it can be a dangerous situation for you and the semi driver.


If you can remember the steps of passing a semi, driving around them doesn’t have to be so intimidating. Don’t get impatient with the truck drivers and give them plenty of room. Treating each other with respect and being considerate will help ensure everyone reaches their destination safely.