Your vehicle license comes with more responsibility than just being able to parallel park without hitting the cars around you.
It also means being aware of your surroundings while driving, especially when it comes to the vehicles and other drivers around you– most notably, transport trucks.
In Ontario, heavy truck crashes account for almost one-fifth of all motor vehicle deaths and 5% of all injuries. Statistics show that the car’s driver causes most motor vehicle deaths and injuries between smaller vehicles and trucks. These accidents are primarily due to the limitations of large trucks, so understanding what they are is essential for everyone on the road.
Limitations of Transport Trucks & How You Can Stay Safe
Transport trucks require more time to come to a complete stop. Their slower stopping means using your signals and giving trucks the space they need and not getting into their cushion of space. If you are coming to a stoplight or notice that traffic is slowing down ahead of you with a transport truck behind you, brake earlier to signal to them the need to adjust their speed and avoid a collision.
There is a reason why trucks have the “Caution wide right turns” sticker on them. Trucks require more room while making turns and sometimes move further left into a lane to make a sharper right turn. Paying attention to their signal lights and giving them space is necessary to avoid being squeezed between a truck and the curb as they make their turns.
Transport trucks have blind spots beside the left door, directly behind the truck, and immediately in front of the truck. As mentioned, driving near a truck, especially in its blind spot, is dangerous. The best way to avoid this is to stay visible to the driver and give trucks their space.
Passing Transport Trucks Safely
Now that we know about the blind spots a truck has, you may be more inclined to pass them. There are ways to do this safely. When passing a truck, be sure to do so swiftly and don’t pull into the lane directly in front of the truck– remember they need the room to brake.
On the other hand, if a truck decides to pass you, move to the right side of your lane and slow down slightly so that they can safely pass.
Keep the Middle Lane Open
The middle lane is a passing lane (did you know?) and is the lane trucks use to pass other trucks and vehicles. On large highways like the 401, trucks longer than 6.5m cannot use the far-left lane, meaning if you are in the middle lane, you are in their passing lane. Be aware of your surroundings and make sure trucks can pass safely.
No one likes to being tailgated, and the same goes for transport truck drivers. The difference between tailgating a car or SUV and a transport truck is that if you can’t see the driver, the driver can’t see you. This scenario can end in a very ugly rear-end collision. So make sure to give trucks enough space that you can see who is driving and they can see you behind them.
Transport Trucks Rollback
Give yourself and truck drivers some extra space when coming to a stop on a hill or incline. Trucks may roll backward when switching gears in such scenarios, and if you’re too close, you may feel the effects of that through a rear-end collision.
Have you ever felt the roaring and pressing sensation of a truck passing you while driving or walking? That is wind pressure, and trucks create it when they’re at high speeds. This effect can make keeping control of your vehicle harder and is something all drivers should be prepared for when driving around or near large transport trucks. By keeping both hands on the steering wheel, you will be able to maintain better control.
Use Proper Precautions
Your headlights and wipers should always be in working order but especially when driving around transport trucks. Water or slush can be thrown off large trucks and hit your vehicle, making driving more treacherous for all drivers. Make sure you’re safe, take precautions when driving around large trucks.
These tips help all drivers feel more confident, aware, and safe while on the road or highway. It’s something we care about, and Bryson Insurance is here to help.