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Trucks: The Lifeblood of Industry and Commerce


The fact that trucks play a vital part in keeping our economy humming is often forgotten by impatient motorists who just see them as obstacles stopping them reaching their destinations as quickly as they would like.  What we don’t think about is the role they play in South Africa. Quite simply, trucks are the lifeblood of industry and commerce. Remove them from the roads and our lives would grind to a halt. Shop shelves would be empty, and even fuel wouldn’t get delivered to our local petrol stations.

Trucks keep the wheels of our economy turning, as they grind their way along our roads 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week and 365 days a year, carrying the nation’s freight to urban and rural areas. Ultimately, it is the people of South Africa who create the demand for goods and services and the trucks that ensure that we get them and deliver them for us.

The secret of living with trucks is to treat them with respect and to adjust your driving when one looms up ahead of you. To keep safe, we’ve compiled a few recommendations that you should follow when sharing the road with trucks.

  • Keep a respectable following distance. If you can see the truck driver in his rear-view mirror, then he can see you. This is a reasonable distance as it also lets you view traffic on the other side of the road which may impede safe overtaking.
  • When you overtake a truck, the right time to re-enter your lane is when you can see the rig in your rear-view mirror.
  • Big trucks have big blind spots. Generally, a blind spot on the driver’s side of the truck is as wide as the traffic lane and goes back about half the length of a trailer. The blind spot on the opposite side can be broader and longer. Bear this in mind when approaching an 18-wheeler.
  • Don’t overtake and then cut in front of a truck. Fully-laden trucks weigh many tonnes. They need much more space to brake in and come to a safe stop.  Cutting in front of a truck and not giving it adequate space could have fatal consequences.
  • Dim your lights when you are driving behind a truck at night. They have large rear-view mirrors, and lights on bright can blind the driver.
  • When you want to change lanes or turn near a large truck, let your indicators flash your intentions longer than you usually would. This gives the truck driver time to see you and manoeuvre the vehicle safely.
  • Remember that trucks need wide spaces to turn in. Keep your distance and keep safe.
  • Be patient. Losing a few seconds or a minute or two won’t make that much difference to your day, while an accident could.  In fact, getting impatient could cost your life.

Trucks blocking roads can make driving tiresome. However, a little patience goes a long way and losing a few minutes to ensure safety shouldn’t ruin your day.  For those who are in the logistics business, have a look at what MiWay Business Insurance offers in the way of truck, goods in transit and business vehicle cover.


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