The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Driver Tips for Sharing the Road With Truckers

November 15, 2009

Here are some driver tips for sharing the road with tractor-trailer trucks. You may want to pass this list along to your fleet drivers as a reminder of what special precautions they can take to avoid collisions with trucks. 

The following driver safety tips are taken from the Kentucky Driver Manual:

  • Trucks have large blind spots, called NO ZONES, behind or on the side. If you are driving behind a truck and cannot see the rearview mirrors of the vehicle in front of you, the driver of the large vehicle cannot see you. Do not drive in the blind spot unless absolutely necessary. 
  • Trucks require a much longer stopping distance. Do not enter a roadway in front of a large vehicle. When passing a large vehicle, do not pull back in front of the truck until you can see its headlights in your inside rearview mirror. Do not make sudden stops in front of large vehicles. 
  • Large trucks cannot turn to the right without first swinging to the left, or to the left without swinging to the right. Never pull into the open space beside a truck if the driver has signaled to turn. 
  • An oncoming truck can create jolting air turbulence. Hold the steering wheel tightly and be ready to make any steering corrections needed. 
  • On mountain roads or downgrades, watch for fast-approaching trucks. If one seems out of control or unable to slow down, get out of the way. 
  • On long downgrades, there are sometimes special "escape" or "runaway" ramps for trucks. These ramps are for use only by large vehicles that are out of control or cannot stop because of brake failure. Never stop or park in the vicinity of these ramps. 
  • When stopped behind a truck on an upgrade, stay to the left of your lane where the driver can see you. Allow extra space between you and the truck in case the truck drifts backwards slightly. 
  • Avoid driving in the right lane in the vicinity of truck weigh stations where slow-moving trucks will be attempting to re-enter faster-moving traffic. You will reduce the possibility of rear-ending or being rear-ended by a large vehicle. 
  • Avoid driving near vehicles carrying hazardous materials. These vehicles will be clearly marked with the type of hazardous materials they are transporting. Vehicles carrying hazardous materials must stop at all railroad crossings. Be prepared.
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