Driving long distances has many perks. You get to see the beautiful landscape, visit interesting places along the way, and avoid the hassle of flying. One thing you do need to look out for, however, is large trucks on the road.
Keep Your Distance
Proper following distance is important on the road in general, but particularly when you are behind a semi-truck. Due to their larger size, it is more difficult for them to stop abruptly. With proper following distance, you can stay safe from any accidents that could occur from not being able to stop on time. You also have to think about the cargo a truck is carrying when you are near them. Sometimes, the truck bed is exposed and has materials like pipes or logs that could fall off and hit your car in the event of a collision. Trucks that carry hazardous chemicals use NFPA 704 labels to indicate the level of hazard. Accidents with this kind of truck could result in disasters or explosions.
Larger trucks also have a difficult time seeing smaller cars on the road as well as staying within their lanes, due to wind gusts and the large width of the truck. As a result, you must make calculated decisions about when and how to pass a truck. One detail you should notice is if you are in the truck driver’s blind spot. When possible, avoid passing on the right side, as the left side is more visible for the driver. Keeping a distance in front of the truck is also important when passing. As you accelerate, keep a steady speed to maintain control of your vehicle.
Use Your Headlights
When you are passing a truck, you should always use your turn signals. But along with those lights, you need to also use your headlights to increase visibility when it rains, or during times of lower light. Semi-truck drivers have a hard time seeing cars sometimes, and lights are an added measure to protect you and others on the road. That said, only use your bright lights when you are alone on the road, so that you do not risk impairing another driver’s visibility.
Often, drivers feel anxious when driving next to long-haul trucks. They feel as though trucks automatically cause irreversible danger. Truck drivers are just trying to do their jobs and keep everyone on the road out of harm’s way, and you can do your part too.
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