Because of the size and weight of semi trucks and tractor trailers, drivers of smaller vehicles can become seriously injured in a collision with this type of truck. Taking action to drive safely and defensively can help prevent these types of accidents.

Follow these tips to avoid an auto accident involving a large truck.

Remain visible

Truckers have to navigate around much larger blind spots than the average driver. Leave plenty of distance to avoid getting caught in an area where the driver cannot see you. You should also leave enough following distance so that the driver has time to stop the truck if necessary, which takes much more time than stopping a smaller vehicle. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, you should not drive next to a large truck for two lanes to the right and one lane to the left. Do not drive within 20 feet in front or 30 feet behind a large truck.

Avoid distracted driving

Although this is good advice for driving in general, distracted driving is especially important when traveling at high speeds surrounded by large semi trucks. Do not use your phone, eat, apply makeup or otherwise take your attention off the road while behind the wheel.

Leave room for turns

Large vehicles need significant space to make wide turns. When you see a truck in front of you that has signaled a left or right turn, give the driver plenty of room to make the turn safely and protect yourself by remaining clear of the blind spots throughout the intersection.

Stay off the road in poor weather

Whenever possible, adjust your travel plans when rain, snow or ice is in the forecast. Truck drivers often cannot take time off from their routes when inclement weather arises, so you can help keep the roads clear and prevent dangerous situations by staying home. This is especially important if your location has declared a state of emergency.

Courtesy and patience go a long way toward preventing truck and car collisions. Improve your safety quotient with these four tips.