Driving near trucks – how to be a safer driver

Did you know that truck drivers have a very different experience when driving? Their blindspots are different, their turning circle is far larger and the sheer size of their vehicle means that they may not see you at all.

With so many more trucks on the road – how can you be a safer driver?

Here are a few tips for driving near trucks.

Give as much notice about when and where you want to turn

Big rigs need time to see you – but the driver also needs time to slow down or alter their course if they need to. This is more important the heavier the traffic is, so be sure to indicate or slow down as soon as you can. It’s also important to remember that coming to an abrupt stop will not give the truck driver enough time to bring their truck to a stop – and it will likely end up in an accident.

Be courteous and give the truck ample space to turn 

With a turning circle of a truck being so large, it’s just the courteous thing to do to hold back a bit and give the truck ample space to make their turn. So the next time you see a truck approaching a turn, be sure to stop a good distance before the intersection.

Be aware of the truck’s blindspots

These are slightly different for trucks than for cars. Trucks have four main blindspots. They are directly in front of the truck, beside the driver’s door, the full length of the passenger side extending out three lanes, and 10 metres directly behind. A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, then they can’t see you – however, if you want to avoid an accident, remember to give the truck ample space, avoid tailgating and be courteous.

Be careful when merging

This is similar advice to giving the truck driver enough space to come to a stop – when merging remember that if you suddenly merge in front of the truck and then have to brake suddenly, the truck driver will not have enough time to properly react.

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