Sharing The Road With Big Rigs
Recent research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study found that of all truck-related car fatalities, 75 percent are car-initiated. That means that it wasn’t the trucker’s fault, but rather the driver of the passenger car.
Therefore, it’s vital that your teenager learn to share the road with these 80,000 lb behemoths. I’ve included a few tips on sharing the road with large trucks.
- When passing a truck, be sure to always pass on the left side and don’t cut back in front of the truck until you can see it’s headlights in your rearview mirror. Avoid passing on the right as the truck’s blind spot is much larger along the right side of the trailer.
- Trucks require a much greater distance to stop than cars. If you are in front of a truck, never stop abruptly. The truck cannot stop as quickly as you can.
- If a truck is stopped on a hill, it will roll backwards when it begins to accelerate. If you find yourself behind a truck on a hill, leave extra space as a precaution.
- If you are driving behind a tractor-trailer and cannot see his side mirrors, the truck driver will not be able to see you. The four blind spots depicted in the picture above show which spots to avoid.
- If a truck in front of you is attempting to make a right turn, it will swing out to the left side prior to making the turn. The same goes for the opposite direction. Don’t try to pass or you may get clipped by the edge of the truck.
- On windy days, try to stay away from trucks altogether. Never drive alongside a truck for longer than you would need to pass it. Turbulence from a truck on a windy day can cause a car to swerve off the road and even flip in bad weather conditions. To minimize this, stay to the outer edge of the lane away from the truck and hold onto the wheel tightly with both hands.
- Do not swerve in and out of the lanes to avoid trucks. Large trucks cannot maneuver quickly. Your erratic driving may cause an accident due to the truck’s inability to react quickly enough to your behavior.
Lastly, always drive courteously. Be respectful of everyone on the road, including trucks.