This week's advice, taken from the Texas Drivers Handbook, addresses the risks a driver can encounter when traveling behind a tractor-trailer. You may want to pass this along to your fleet drivers as a friendly reminder.
Tractor-trailers take longer to stop than a car traveling at the same speed. The average passenger car traveling at 55 mph can stop in approximately 240 feet, which is about three-fourths the length of a football field. A fully loaded tractor-trailer may take more than 400 feet to come to a complete stop, well over the length of a football field.
If you're following a truck, stay out of its "blind spot" at the rear. Avoid following too closely, and position your vehicle so the truck driver can see your vehicle in the truck's side-view mirror. An excellent rule of thumb for motorists sharing the road with a tractor-trailer is: If you can't see the truck driver in his side mirror, he can't see you. Then you will have a good view of the road ahead, and the truck driver can give you plenty of warning for a stop or a turn. You will have more time to react and make a safe stop.