ROAD CODES | Safely Sharing Roads with Big Rigs
The holiday weekend is finally upon us! Many of us are packing our bags, preparing to hit the road but keep in mind, not all companies shut down. Grocery store shelves still need to be stocked, our Amazon Prime deliveries are still in route and so thankfully the big rigs roll on! We’ve put together an article with a few tips we hope you find helpful for safely sharing the roads with those rigs.
#1 | DON’T DRIVE SPERATICALLY
Keep in mind trucks cannot stop as efficiently as a car in cases of emergency! For your own safety, as well as that of the driver and other drivers nearby, please don’t expect them to stop quickly. In other words, don’t cut them off, don’t slam on your breaks, swerve or speed up to quickly move around them… just be mindful.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure you can see the whole front cab of the truck in your mirrors before merging in front of it. Truckers will often times flash their headlights when you’re ok to merge.
#2 | LEAVE ROOM
Between big blind spots, tire blow-outs, and substantial surface area for the wind to catch and push around, there are lots of reasons to give large vehicles like semis ample amounts of room!
The larger the vehicle, the wider the turn it will need to take in order to keep all wheels on the road throughout the turn. This is why you’ll see trucks needing to hug the outside of the right lane, sometimes even going into the left lane a bit in order to make a right turn. Best practice is to leave room whenever possible and never pass on the right side of a truck!
#3 | MAKE YOURSELF VISABLE
Because of limited visibility due to blind spots, you can help truck drivers out (other drivers too) by having your headlights and taillights turned on at all times. As well as by staying out of "No Zones".
#4 | AVOID ROADS IN BAD CONDITIONS
Commercial vehicles rarely have the choice to stay off the roads and typically have to brave the weather. So, in cases of bad driving conditions, if you have the choice to stay off the roadways, it’s your safest bet to keep roads clear for the trucks.
#5 | PASS PROPERLY
The right side of a truck is full of blind spots, so your best bet is to pass on the left side whenever possible, hugging the outside of the lane to give the truck as much room as possible. Pass quickly to get out of the blind spots but be sure not to cut back in front too close, as it can take a fully loaded truck up to three football fields to come to a complete stop from 60mph! And if they do need to slow down or stop, keep in mind especially for fully loaded trucks, getting back up to speed will take time! So be patient.
Never cross the double yellow lines to avoid cases of needing to swerve back over. The double lines are there for a reason, wait until you’re in a passing zone to ensure you can pass carefully.
#6 | BONUS POINTS IF YOU CAN MAKE ROOM
While we already discussed leaving room when you’re driving near large vehicles, it can be even more helpful when other vehicles MAKE room. If you see a truck trying to merge over and are able to slow down to make room for them, you can let them know they’re clear to merge in front of you by flashing your headlights after their trailer has cleared the front of your car. This is especially helpful because of how long tractor-trailers are, it can be hard to tell how much clearance there is. Knowing you are aware and making room, helps the truckers and keeps us all safer.
After 35 years in this industry, it's pretty safe to say we've seen it all. While we appreciate your business and are happy to help when you need us, our top priority is to share what we've learned to keep all drivers safe! Use the Subscribe button below for monthly updates with more of this helpful information as well as Bodyshop Exclusives!
Wishing you all a very happy and safe 4th of July!