4 Rules for Sharing the Roads with Trucks

This time of the year brings a lot of traffic – it seems as though the roads become more populated every day. There are drivers rushing to get to work, those drivers tailgating the people taking a casual drive, and trucks carrying loads of inventory. Roads during the holidays are filled with trucks carrying gifts, food for grocery stores, or just more of their regular inventory. It is important that drivers in cars learn how to safely share the road with truck drivers.

Stay Out of the “No Zones”

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to drivers education, where we were strongly told to stay out of the “no zones.” Tractor trailers have large blind spots that need to be made aware of when cars are driving near them. Their blind sports include:

  • The Front: if you are too close to their nose, they will not be able to see your brake lights.
  • Both Sides– if you are on either side of a tractor trailer it is difficult for them to see you, it is important to move away safely in case they need to switch lanes.
  • The Back– if you are tailgating a tractor-trailer, they cannot see you, in the event they need to back up and you are not in their mirrors they will not know you are there.

Pass Safely and Don’t Cut Too Close

If you cannot see the driver in your rearview mirror and you are switching lanes, it is too soon to move. Often people will cut off truck drivers on the highway making it difficult and dangerous for a driver to stop. The reason for this is because when they are driving over 60MPH and are cut off, they can’t slow down as fast as cars can. This is when you will see a 16-wheeler jackknife or tip over making it dangerous for the driver and everyone else around them. If you cut too close, a truck may rear end you because you are directly in their blind spot and they don’t see you in time to stop.

Stay a Good Distance Away

Always keep a good distance between you and a tractor-trailer, try to leave at least the length of another car between your vehicle and the rear. First, you are in the no zone, so a truck will not be able to see you if you are that close. Second, if you are too close and you need to stop you might end up below the truck since they are so high up off the ground. It’s important to stay alert when you are driving near a big truck, so you know when to slow down or when to go.

Anticipate the Wide Turn

It is no secret that for a 16-wheeler to complete a left or right turn, they must take it wide. A good rule of thumb is to stay behind the white line at a traffic light. Those are there for a reason: those lines indicate where the width needed for the turn to be taken safely. If you notice a truck with their right blinker on when in a two-lane road at an intersection, resist the temptation to get into the right lane. The reason they are in the left lane is that they need more room to turn.

Always stay out of the “no-zone” when driving near tractor-trailers, if you cannot stay out of their blind spots then be sure you are paying attention. Just one accident can increase the cost of your car insurance. Also, be sure you are covered correctly. Call us at TJ Woods Insurance, and we can get you matched with the best car insurance for you. Contact us today, and we can get you set up with a free quote.