Any sort of accident while driving is a serious accident, but getting into even a fender-bender with a semi truck can end up having very serious consequences. Semi trucks move slower and have considerably more mass than regular four-wheeled vehicles, which means that in order to stay safe around them and not end up in a crash you need to be prepared to approach them differently. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, it is absolutely vital to stay out of the blind spot of a truck.
Of course, it is not a good idea to drive in the blind spot of any vehicle, but trucks require special care. The blind spots on a truck are far larger than those on a regular passenger vehicle, and take up to two lanes on the right side of the truck. You also need to ensure that you are at least 30 feet behind a semi to ensure that the driver sees you. A good rule to follow is to remember that if you cannot see the side-view mirrors on a semi truck, then the driver probably cannot see you.
These large blind spots are why it is imperative to always pass a semi truck on the left. Good driving practice does state that passing on the left is always best, but with trucks it can mean the difference between a safe merge and an accident.
Speaking of merging, make sure that you give plenty of space between you and a semi truck before pulling in front of it. Trucks have more mass than regular cars, so cutting them off is a very bad idea.