VIDEO: Sharing the Road With Truck Drivers
Here’s a video, produced by Driver Solutions, offering six tips on how to share the road more safely with drivers of big trucks. You may want to pass this advice along to your fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.
Click on the photo or link above to watch the video.
Additionally, here’s some advice from American Trucking Associations on why you should never follow a truck too closely.
- When following behind a truck, leave yourself 20 to 25 car lengths behind it. This may seem like a long distance, but large trucks obscure visibility far more than smaller vehicles. That much room is needed so that you have enough time to react if road conditions suddenly change. A good rule of thumb to ensure that you’ve left yourself enough room is to look for the truck’s side mirrors. If you can see them, then you are in a good place.
- You also need to maintain this amount of space because of potential debris. Road debris like lumber or a ladder might have no impact on a large truck. But if that debris was suddenly in front of you because the truck drove over it and you were following too closely, it could have a devastating impact.
- On congested roadways, traffic often slows down suddenly. If you are traveling too closely behind a truck you cannot see the slow-down coming.
At highway speeds everything happens very fast. Accidents up ahead or right in front of a truck require fast reactions. Leaving enough space in front of you will allow for that response.
Here are a couple ATA tips on passing a big commercial truck:
- When passing a truck and moving back into its lane, make sure you can see the truck’s headlights in your rearview mirror before you cut back in. That allows the truck enough space to slow down or stop if something happens up ahead. A fully loaded tractor trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and take the length of a football field to stop. Most passenger cars weigh around 3,000 pounds and have a much shorter stopping distance. Just because you can stop in time doesn’t mean that the truck behind you can if you’ve cut too close in front of it.
- You may wonder why trucks leave space in front of them in heavy traffic. It’s so they have enough stopping distance. Don’t fill in that space and take up that safety buffer that the driver is trying to maintain.