How do you drive safely next to trucks?
- Avoid their blind spots
- Never cut them off
- No sudden braking
- Don’t drive too close
- Be aware of your surroundings
Truck drivers, as well as the massive vehicles they operate, were once considered kings of the highway but now they are looked at by many as threatening and even dangerous. Most of these trucks are huge, heavy, and can seem hazardous as they make their way down the road. But since almost everyone relies largely on these vehicles from manufacturers like Foton Philippines to transport everything from dry goods to fuel, to household groceries, learning to share the road in a safe manner is in the best interest of everybody.
You are probably already aware of it but you actually have more control over your own safety than you realize. Multiple studies have indicated that passenger vehicles are primarily at fault in fatal crashes involving commercial trucks. However, because of their size, truck crashes are more likely to result in fatalities.
Understanding what truck drivers can and cannot control can help you enjoy your drive and stay safe while you are on the road. So what can you do? Here are a few things you should remember when driving next to large trucks:
Avoid their blind spots
As a driver, you probably know what it feels when somebody is tailing you right on your blind spot. But while regular drivers usually only have two blind spots, truck drivers have blind spots all around their entire vehicle. It is important to know where these blind spots are, but it is even more important to avoid them.
In addition to the immediate front of the vehicle, there are also blind spots immediately behind and on the sides of a truck. One-third of all fatal crashes involving trucks often occurs in these blind spots. Avoid staying too long on the blind spot on the right side of the truck because it is much larger than the others. And as a general rule when driving next to a truck, if you cannot see the driver on the mirrors, the driver cannot see you.
Never cut them off
Large trucks often have to drive slower than other vehicles on the road so it only seems natural that you would want to overtake one as soon as you can. And while it is true that this is acceptable, generally, you do not overtake a truck in the same way in which you might overtake a regular vehicle.
Trucks are slower at braking and have worse visibility which means that if you cut them off immediately, you are putting both the truck and yourself in a dangerous situation. Another good rule of thumb you can follow when overtaking a truck is to wait until you can see both headlights of the truck in your rear-view mirror before proceeding to move in front of them.
No sudden braking
And now that you have made it in front of a truck, do not brake suddenly. This is something that every driver should be obviously doing anyway, especially on the highway. Once you find yourself in front of a truck, however, it can be a lot more dangerous.
It is much harder to stop a large truck. If there is an especially short distance between you and a truck, it might result in an accident where you are far less likely to come off unscathed.
Don’t drive too close
This should be pretty easy for you since you already know to stay out of the blind spots of a truck driver. It is still important to point out, however, that you should not linger too closely around a truck.
Aside from getting the occasional rock chip hitting your windshield, a truck could brake suddenly when you can’t see anything ahead or a high wind could cause the truck to roll. In heavy traffic, driving close to a truck can be difficult to avoid, but lingering is something that you should never do.
Be aware of your surroundings
This last advice for driving around large trucks appeals to common sense more than anything else. Try to be a responsible driver and always be aware of your surroundings when you are driving next to trucks. Remember to drive defensively, never let anything distract you, and always use your turn signals.
Truck drivers are also taught how to drive in a safe and responsible manner, so the most important thing to consider is that sharing the road will make sure that everybody makes it to their destination in one piece.
Often, people tend to think of truck drivers as “bullies” who take advantage of the fact that they are driving such large and quality vehicles from Foton Philippines. While it’s true that there are certainly a few bad apples out there, the vast majority of truck drivers are doing the best that they can.
Driving what is essentially a warehouse on wheels is extremely stressful and difficult. So please bear with them because they are doing the best that they can. When it comes to road safety, a little understanding can go a long way.