The No-Zone:Driving near big trucks

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in southernbelledriver

On my daily commute I see cars jet in, out and around big trucks. My heart stops for these drivers. We may not understand the technique of driving big trucks however, to reduce the chance of a collision with a large truck, motorists must be familiar with a truck’s physical capabilities and how it maneuvers.

Please do not pull in front of a large truck and suddenly slow down. The trucker will not be able to stop quickly enough to avoid crashing into you. A large truck takes longer to stop than a car traveling at the same speed. The average passenger vehicle traveling at 50 mph can stop in about 230 feet. However, a large truck traveling at the same speed can take more than 400 feet to stop.

Always remember to pass a large truck on the left side. And after you have passed the truck, move ahead of it. If you linger beside the truck, you make it very difficult, if not impossible, for the trucker to take evasive action if an obstacle appears in the road ahead.

Passenger vehicle drivers falsely assume that a trucker can see the road better because they are higher off the road. While truckers do have a better forward view and bigger mirrors, they still have serious blind spots. Your vehicle can get lost in these blind spots. If you stay in these blind spots you block the trucker’s ability to take evasive action to avoid dangerous situations. A great rule of thumb is, if you can’t see the truck driver in his or her side mirror, he or she can’t see you.

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