MENU
 

Truck it! Sharing the road with trucks

Published on: 05 October 2016

Truck it!

At some point in your driving life, you will share the road with trucks - sometimes more often than you’d like. If you are like many of us who use national roads on a daily basis, this is one thing you can’t avoid. Because of their business purposes, trucks are on our roads daily and they are here to stay… so we just really need to learn how to truck it out better.

We like big trucks and we cannot lie, but we like you too – so here are some tips on how we can all live together in harmony on the roads:

  • Don’t get caught in the blind spot: When driving a truck, it’s hard to see anything closer than 10 metres, sometimes 50 metres behind the trailer. There are four blind spots to avoid disappearing into a troublesome situation – directly behind them and on each side.
  • No tailgating: The back of a truck is one dangerous spot – you really don’t want to tailgate a truck and risk not being seen. The best way to avoid a rear-end collision with a truck is to maintain a distance that is far behind enough for you to deal with whatever could be thrown up from the truck. Oh and use the truck as a possible hint of what’s ahead – i.e. slow down if they slow down.
  • Watch that turn: In case you haven’t noticed, trucks are big - so it only makes sense that they will need large turning space… Watch out for turning signals and avoid squeezing in between trucks when taking a curb, or any intersection for that matter. Allow for wide turns and avoid getting hit.
  • Don’t cut in: Trucks need more space and time to stop than ordinary cars, so cutting in front of a truck isn’t such a good idea. Forcing a loaded truck to suddenly stop can cause serious consequences.
  • Watch the weather: Bad weather makes driving hard for ordinary motorists, now imagine having to share the road with the big guns… it’s a complicated recipe for passing a large truck. Bad weather increases the chances of collisions majorly, be sure to turn on your wipers as fast as they can go before overtaking or passing a truck in wet weather so you can clearly see where you are going and what is around you.
  • Stay alert in the night time: Trucks can be likened to the (really large) ninjas of the road; easily masked by the darkness. Drive at a pace that will allow you enough time to stop should you be required to. Truck drivers often pull up on the side of the road at night. If you spot one, it is advised that you keep an eye on the entire body of the truck so you know what’s happening around you. Not all trucks are easily visible - allow yourself time to spot it and react.
  • Pass safely: Passing a truck on the road needs more patience than sharing a road with one. Unless you’re really confident of what you’re doing, take your time when passing a truck – don’t rush yourself into a messy situation. Some trucks are longer than others, so you will need more time and to pass where the driver will see you clearly (avoid the left hand-side). Oh - and because getting rear-ended by a truck is not cool, be sure to leave enough space between you and the truck before cutting in once you’ve passed.

Now that we’ve equipped you with advice on trucking it out on the roads, how about you help out the drivers and help them get through the day safely? Be patient with truck drivers and give them the space they need to go about their daily business. If you are a business owner or a fleet owner, remember that MiWay offers truck insurance to suit your business!

Be wise and share the road without rage this Transport Month!