Trucks can be dangerous if operated incorrectly on the road. In this article, we explain how to safeguard yourself against aggressive trucks and large vehicles, because your safety is paramount when you are driving. We will also explore what special legal requirements truck drivers have when operating on the road, for your knowledge and awareness.
Avoid Blind Spots
We all have driving blind spots – especially trucks. The areas directly behind, in front, or to the side of the front are commonly considered the blind spots of a truck.
If you wish to stay safe on the road and avoid collisions, avoid these zones. Instead, give trucks adequate room – often considered 20 to 30 ft – to merge, turn and drive.
Generally, as a rule of thumb, if you cannot see the driver through their front view mirror, they cannot see you.
Leave Space when Overtaking
Trucks are large vehicles, which means that they will take longer to slow down. If you initiate a risky overtake with little space, you may risk a collision. Therefore, when overtaking, ensure that you leave plenty of space between the two of you. If you need to pass through a blind spot when overtaking, make sure you do it quickly and efficiently.
Do Not Cut Them Off
When changing lanes, trucks require more time and space than the regular car driver. If a truck is indicating that they will change lanes, do not quickly speed up to cut them off or get in front of them. You may be in their blind spot, and they may hit you.
Instead, stay patient, give them space and attempt to move into another lane after they finish their lane change.
Be Patient and Give Them Space
Turning for a truck is significantly harder than turning for a car, simply because of the size and speed. If a truck is turning, especially if they will be making a wide right turn, give them plenty of space so that they can successfully complete it.
If you drive too close to the truck, whether that be on the side, front or back, your car may be hit, or end up sliding under the truck if the driver does not see you.
This is because trucks turn differently – they often need to turn wider and use two lane ways instead of just one to achieve a turn.
Truck Legal Requirements
Due to the safety concerns surrounding trucks, there are some legal requirements that apply solely to trucks and large vehicles. There are just a few of them:
In NSW, trucks are not allowed to drive beyond 100km/h.
Trucks with a ‘Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle’ sign are legally allowed to use two or more lanes to turn.
Compliance and Safety
Trucks are required to ensure that they are in line with the compliance and safety standards set by the National Heavy Vehicle Register in their state.
These include regular inspections and load and height restrictions, amongst others.
If you or anyone you know has been injured in an accident involving a truck, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, and to arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, please call Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800, or alternatively make an online enquiry.