When entering on-ramps and merging near tractor trailers, make sure to check the traffic up ahead first. Look for slow or stopped traffic in the lane you'll be merging into, and gauge how far ahead it is. If you merge in front of a semi only to have to slam on your brakes to avoid the slow traffic ahead, guess where the semi's going to go? Yep - into your bumper.
Keep in mind that tractor trailers can't speed up and slow down as quickly as your little passenger vehicle. Because of this, they might stay in the lane you're trying to merge into and rely on you to make the call on whether to speed up and get in front of them, or slow down and pull in behind. It's simply easier for the smaller vehicle to adjust their speed.
When you notice a semi is trying to pass you, don't get mad and try to speed up so it can't get in front of you. Decelerate slightly to minimize the time needed for the truck to complete the pass. It won't slow you down too much, and if you really need to, you can always pass the semi after he's in your lane (safely, of course).
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