Commercial truck drivers sometimes need to swing wide to the left in order to safely negotiate a right turn, especially in urban areas. A serious crash can occur when the driver of a smaller vehicle tries to get in between the truck and the curb and gets caught in a “squeeze play.”
It’s important to pay attention to truck signals, and give large trucks plenty of room to maneuver.
Also, when passing a truck, drivers need to make sure they can see the truck’s headlights in the rearview mirror before moving back into the truck’s lane. That ensures that the truck has enough space to slow down or stop if something happens up ahead.
According to the American Trucking Associations, a fully loaded tractor trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and take the length of a football field to stop. In contrast, most passenger cars weigh around 3,000 pounds and have a much shorter stopping distance.
Remember, drivers, 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. Always try to leave trucks enough room.
To watch a video on how to avoid the squeeze play, click on the photo or link below the headline. To watch a video offering much more advice on how to share the road safely with large trucks, click here. Both videos are from the Michigan Center for Truck Safety.