Car drivers hate sharing the road with heavy trucks that move slowly and take forever to change lanes. Getting annoyed with trucks is understandable: many cars and smaller vehicles often crash into large trucks, and truck drivers refuse to follow road etiquette.
However, we must remember that these large vehicles are essential to the functioning of the economy! They help us transport and ship large amounts of cargo, and if their presence means we have to alter our behavior, that’s something all of us can do.
Here’s how you can keep safe with trucks around you!
Know The Truck’s Blind Spots
The larger a vehicle, the more it’s likely to have blind spots. While many trucks have multiple mirrors for better visuals, there are still four spots you should avoid. Spot 1 is right in front of the hood. Long hoods can mean that a smaller vehicle in front of the truck is hard to spot.
Spot 2 is the sides of a truck. Mirrors often provide limited visibility to these areas. Spot 3 is the right side of a truck and extends throughout the right side up top 3 lanes away. Never cross a truck from the right if you can avoid it. The fourth blind spot is directly behind the trailer.
The easiest way to judge if the driver can see you is to check if you can locate at least two of the vehicle’s mirrors.
Give A Wide Berth
These blind spots cover most of all the areas near a truck. This segues right into this tip. Always give trucks a lot of space! Because the vehicle is so massive, the mirrors can only be used to spot cars a little farther away.
By staying too close to a large truck, you not only enter its blind spots but also leave less braking room. If one of the vehicles in the area needs to stop or slow down, trucks can take a little longer to change gears. Therefore a healthy distance between your car and a truck is recommended.
Know How To Pass Safely
The only reason you should get close to a truck is to pass it. When you need to pass by, make sure that the lane on the left of the truck is empty. Be prepared that it will take a while to pass a truck and stay vigilant while doing it.
In case the truck makes any sudden moves, you should have your hands on the wheel so you can honk and maneuver out of the way.
For more information on how to deal with different kinds of vehicles, you should consider taking our online defensive driving classes for Houston, Conroe, Cypress, and The Woodlands. You can even get a ticket knocked off your record by taking a quick online defensive driving course. We also provide other kinds of online driver’s education, including teen driving classes!