The length and width of large trucks can create special driving situations for both small and large vehicle drivers. Often it is a lack of understanding by small vehicle drivers of large trucks that can lead to collisions. To share the road with a truck means being aware of its capabilities and limitations. The following suggestions can help drivers share the road comfortably and safely.
At intersections, drivers of long trucks that are turning right may move into the left lane to avoid hitting the curb as they turn. If you ignore the truck’s turn signals and pull up on its right side, you may be squeezed between the truck and the curb as it makes the turn.
Most trucks need a longer distance to stop. Signal your intentions well before turning, slowing or stopping to give trucks behind you more time to brake.
When stopped, especially going uphill, a truck may roll back farther than a car when the driver releases the brake and engages the clutch. Leave at least one car length between your vehicle and the truck ahead and stay slightly to the left of your lane so you can be seen in the truck driver’s mirror.
Be visible. Stay out of a truck’s blind spots, typically to the sides and back. Truck drivers rely on their mirrors to see what’s happening in these areas. Never follow so closely that a truck driver cannot see your vehicle in the mirrors. If you can’t see the driver in the mirrors, then the truck driver cannot see you.
When passing trucks, do not stay alongside for too long a time. Pass as quickly and safely as possible and don’t cut in front of a truck too closely.
On multi-lane freeways, trucks longer than 6.5 metres cannot use the far-left lane. Instead they must use the lane immediately to the right (middle lane) to pass slower vehicles.
Never drive or walk around the back of a truck when it is reversing. You may be in the driver’s blind spot and you may be unknowingly hit by the truck.
When meeting or passing a truck on a highway, stay as far away from it — in your lane — as you can to avoid the wind pressure created at high speeds.
Road Safety. It starts with you.
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