Sharing the road with trucks
Anytime you use the highway you are sharing the road with thousands of other drivers. Sharing the road with trucks in particular can pose added risks on your drive. An American Trucking Association 2013 report found that in truck versus car crashes, “car drivers were assigned factors in 81% of crashes versus 27% of truck drivers.” When you are sharing the roadway with a truck you need to adjust your driving habits to ensure the safety of all involved.
Kenneth Piecuch, a truck driver for AMJ Campbell, has had his fair share of aggravation on the road.
“My favorite car to truck maneuver is the pylon, where cars treat trucks as moving pylons and cut in front of us without thinking about what may happen if we all have to stop in a hurry. As a truck driver I know it takes much longer for a fully loaded truck to stop than a car and, honestly, I would probably not even feel it if I ran over a back of a car.” Piecuch adds some advice to drivers, “Do not cut in front of a truck, especially in traffic. Secondly and this is up there, in dumb maneuvers, do not stay beside a truck when traveling either on the street or highway, as truck drivers may have to make a quick avoidance maneuver which might go your way. Give us room.”
Here are just a few tips the Ontario Trucking Association has provided to keep everyone safe on the road:
Stay Visible: Make sure the truck driver can see you in his or her mirrors. Remember if you cannot see the truck driver in one of their mirrors, the driver probably cannot see you.
Don’t Tailgate: This is important for two reasons. First, the size of the truck blocks your view of the road ahead. You are only relying on their brake lights for guidance. Secondly, when you are following directly behind a truck you are driving in one of their biggest blind spots.
Stopping Distance: Never cut in front of a truck without leaving a safe distance between your car and the truck. Trucks need more distance to stop than you do.
Keep the Centre Lane Open: It is key to keep the centre lane of the highway as open as possible. Trucks are not allowed to use the left lane so they must use the centre lane to pass. If you are using the centre lane at least travel at the posted speed limit.
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Do you have any close encounters or driving tips to share, let us know in the comment section below.