There are more semi trucks on the roads across the country than ever before. Different parts of the country have different terrains and weather which changes driving conditions. Being courteous of semi trucks when you are driving a smaller vehicle will allow everyone to better navigate through unfamiliar areas and conditions. Continue reading to learn how to be more courteous of semi trucks.
7 Ways to Share the Road Courteously With Truck Drivers
Exploring the open road is one of the best things about being a truck driver. Whether it’s driving Highway One along the coast of California or passing fields of green corn in Iowa, we see some amazing country.
And we see some horrible drivers.
Other drivers are one of the biggest frustration and fears we all need to deal with when we get on the road. Everyone needs to share the road with other drivers, but commercial truck drivers face unique challenges on the road.
Why? Because our trucks handle differently than other vehicles.
As safe as we can drive, truck drivers rely on other drivers to be careful too, and ideally, all drivers should share common values of courtesy and respect.
If we could share 7 things with other drivers, here they are:
Advice to avoid accidents when interacting with big rigs on the road:
1. “Put the Phone Down.” We all know that distracted driving causes accidents. Read this article to see how the Indiana Motor Truck Association helps support the state in this campaign.
2. Trucks brake differently. We really don’t want to slam into you. The outcome is never good. Leave a safe distance between you and the truck behind you before switching lanes.
3. Trailers catch the wind easily. If you are blowing around the road, we are too. When you pass or maneuver on windy days, allow a little extra room. We will be more alert, too.
4. Don’t follow too closely. Drafting can save you gas, but it’s never worth it. Following too closely behind a truck is dangerous because we may not be able to see you. Stay behind us at a safe distance, say 150 feet. This article from “How Stuff Works” explains how this works and why it is dangerous.
5. Use your turn signals. When you do, we know what you are doing and can better plan for your movements and the movements of other drivers.
6. Hills are funny with a heavy load. When you are driving around semis and going up and down hills, we will probably fluctuate speeds. This is normal.
7. Don’t assume we can see you. We have mirrors, certainly, but trucks have blind spots that are different than cars and vans.
We’ve all seen people race like they are practicing for the Indy 500 and pay attention to driving as if it requires only a fraction of their focus.
Really, it doesn’t take much to be mindful of commercial truck drivers and to other cars on the road. We want to share the road and make it safe so we can get home to our families. With a little courtesy and respect for the other people on the road, driving is safer for everybody.
Driving safely is everyone’s responsibility.
It starts with us.