* Beware of blind spots. Approximately 35 percent of truck-related auto fatalities occur in a truck's blind spots. Tractor trailers have very large blind spots -; as much as 30 feet behind the truck. Always try to pass on the left side; the blind spot on the right side is much larger (running the length of the truck and extending out nearly three lanes).
* Stay back. When following a truck, try to maintain a distance of 20 to 25 car lengths. Driving too closely behind a truck gives you little or no time to react to changing conditions.
* When passing a truck, do not loiter in the blind spot. Before moving back into the truck's lane, be sure you can see its headlights in your rearview mirror. Most fully-loaded semi trucks driving at highway speeds need 100 yards - that's one football field - to come to a safe stop. Leave them plenty of space.
* Pay attention. Driver inattentiveness is the most common unsafe driving act that results in a truck-related auto fatality.
* Heed the weather. Poor conditions make it more difficult to drive safely around big trucks. Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC reminds you that statistics show nearly 1 million vehicle accidents a year occur in wet weather.
When it's raining, slow down, turn on your lights, drive smoothly and maintain a safe distance. If you start to hydroplane, take your foot off the accelerator (if manual transmission, engage the clutch) and don't slam on your brakes.
* Properly maintain your tires. A tire cannot provide good traction on wet roads once the tread is worn below 2/32 of an inch tread depth. Check your tires regularly and replace them at the proper time. Don't forget to maintain the proper air pressure in your tires; tire pressure should be checked monthly.
For more information, visit www.tiresafety.com.