One of the most common vehicles involved in road accidents is tractor trailers. That is why we should practice extra caution when driving near these large vehicles that can be up to 80,000 pounds. The best way to avoid an accident is to obey the rules of the road and to remain alert. But, even the most careful of drivers could end up in a hazardous situation around tractor trailers if they are not careful. Here are some tips to better share the road with tractor trailers and avoid accidents.
Be Aware of Truck Blind Spots
Every vehicle has a blind spot where the driver cannot see certain areas in their mirror. Because of the size of a tractor-trailer, its blind spot is much larger than on standard vehicles. That is why you should always remain at least four regular car-lengths ahead or behind a large truck. Be careful when passing and remember if you cannot see the driver in their mirror, then they likely cannot see you either.
Do Not Drive Between Tractor Trailers
It can also be difficult for drivers in tractor trailers to see directly in front of their vehicles. You could end up getting caught in the middle if you drive between two of them. Either stay far behind tractor trailers or pass by them quickly.
Be Cautious When Changing Lanes
The larger the vehicle, the more time it will need to respond to a situation. Always use your signals but especially when passing large trucks. You want to give drivers of large vehicles as much warning as possible when changing lanes. Be extra vigilant when passing large trucks just in case they swing into your lane and avoid abrupt lane changes yourself.
Yield to Trucks
Because of the size and weight of tractor trailers, they are far less easy to maneuver than smaller vehicles. It takes longer for them to stop, get up to cruising speed, and slow down. Trucks have more difficulty changing lanes and make wide turns. That is why drivers should yield to large vehicles and give them the right-of-way. That could mean moving over if they drive up behind you, slowing down if they are trying to get in your lane, or waiting a few seconds at an intersection that they can complete a turn. Be mindful that some trucks are so large that they can only make a right turn from the left lane.
Driving near tractor trailers is not the same as driving with a standard sized cars and trucks, so be sure to adjust your behaviour accordingly. There is no need to feel nervous around them, but it does pay to be extra cautious. If you or your family member needs practice driving around these large vehicles with an experienced and knowledgeable instructor, contact Central Driving School. We offer standard driving courses and the defensive driving course for drivers of all levels in Edmonton.