Arrive Alive

Safety around Trucks with FleetWatch

Sharing the Road in Harmony

Basic driving habits practised by motorists when sharing the road with trucks could save many lives.

Here are a few tips:

Avoid Blind Spots

  • 70% of all truck-related car fatalities are initiated by car drivers
  • 35% of them occur in the blind spots around trucks
  • There are four blind spots around tractor-trailer combinations where cars disappear from a truck driver’s view. Trucks have deep blind spots directly behind them and on each side. If you tailgate the truck driver can’t see you and your own view of the truck is obstructed.
  • Truck drivers can’t see anything closer than 10 metres and sometimes up to 50 metres behind the trailer

Blind Spots

Passing Safely

  • The longer the truck, the more distance you will need to pass it. Don’t pass unless you are absolutely sure there is enough room.
  • Pass from where the driver can see you - not from directly behind the truck.
  • Never pass on the left- the blind spot is even larger on that side
  • When passing -stay as far to the right as is deemed safe. This reduces the effect of air turbulence on your vehicle and gives you a margin of safety if the truck moves outside of its lane. Don’t linger in the passing.
  • It is possible to get rear-ended by a truck or bus if you cut in front too soon after passing. A truck can’t stop quickly!
  • Large trucks create a lot of air turbulence around them. Motorists should be prepared for a bit of “rock-and-roll” from air turbulence when passing a truck - Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel.

Caution in Bad Weather

  • Bad weather is a poor time to pass a large truck. The combination of splash and spray, air turbulence, poor control of both vehicles on slick services and diminished visibility increases the chance of a collision.
  • Light vehicle drivers should turn their windshield wipers on before overtaking and passing a truck in wet weather. You need to see clearly at all times. If the spray seems more than your wipers can handle, don’t pass.

Wide Turns

Wide Turns

  • Truck drivers sometimes need to swing wide either to the left or right to safely make a turn at intersections.
  • They cannot see cars squeezing in between them and the curb
  • Watch for their signals and give them time to turn

Help trucks get by

  • When a truck passes you, stay left and slow down to allow him to pass.
  • If a truck is signalling to change lanes, give it room. The Driver may be trying to avoid another vehicle
  • When travelling in the left lane on a highway and you approach an on-ramp, move right to allow trucks to enter the highway

Allow some space

  • When stopping behind a rig, remember that it might need space to roll back when it starts up again, especially on a hill.
  • If you position your vehicle slightly to the right of the lane the driver will know you are behind and can take precautions.

Allow Space

Avoid Tailgating

  • Unlike cars, trucks have a huge danger zone directly behind them. If you are tailgating a truck, the driver can’t see your car and you can’t see what is going on ahead of you.
  • Stay well behind any big truck to avoid a rear-end collision.
  • Truck wheels may throw up rocks - and certainly do throw up water when it’s raining.
  • If a truck in front of you starts to slow down, there may be trouble ahead. Take the hint and slow down too

Don’t cut in front

  • Don’t cut in front of trucks- they need a lot more time and space to stop than cars
  • Loaded trucks can weigh up to 56 tons and take the length of a football field to stop
  • When entering traffic on a highway or when passing, don’t cut in front of trucks or force them to attempt a sudden stop - they could jack-knife

Don’t cross behind

Don’t cross behind

  • When driving or walking, never cross behind a truck that is reversing. Truck drivers have no rearview mirror and may not see you behind them.

Night hazard

  • Darkness masks many trucks. If you see a truck at night that looks like it’s parked at the side of the road, make sure you can see the entire truck body. Slow down and prepare to stop if necessary.
  • Many trucks are still without obligatory reflectors and reflective markings. The body of the truck could be in your path. In dim lighting, it may not be visible until it’s too late to stop.

Also View

Truck And Freight

Road Safety Checklist for Trucks & Buses

Truck Stops & Road Safety

Safety Tips for Truck and Bus Drivers

Safe Driving with Trucks in Strong Winds

Speed and Maintaining a Safe Operating area Around Trucks

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Don't Break Your Back Whilst Driving

Don't Break Your Back Whilst Driving

Driver Fitness and Back Pain Back and neck pain is serious occupational diseases which can result in a loss of productivity and even costly workers’ compensation claims. Truck driving, in particular, is an occupation that is prone to causing back and neck pain. However, there are some simple

Read More

Absorption of Alcohol in the Body

Absorption of Alcohol in the Body

The Absorption of Alcohol in the Body The absorption of alcohol in the mouth and oesophagus is minimal because of the rapid passage of the alcohol through these structures; approximately 20% of ingested alcohol is absorbed in the stomach and the rest is absorbed in the small intestine. Depending

Read More

Hikers and Hiking Safety

Hikers and Hiking Safety

Introduction The diversity of beautiful scenery across South Africa contributes significantly to sports tourism. Whether it is mountain biking, trail running or hiking many enjoy the great outdoors with friends, family and colleagues. Hiking brings people closer together, promote physical fitness,

Read More

How do I become a Driving Instructor?

How do I become a Driving Instructor?

Many people have raised questions to the Arrive Alive website on how to become a driving instructor. We believe that the passionate and professional driver instructor has an important role to play in enhancing road safety - not only for those they are training but for all road users! We have raised

Read More

The Intercooler and Vehicle Safety

The Intercooler and Vehicle Safety

Intercooler Basics What is an intercooler and how does it function? An intercooler is the heat exchanger that cools the air/intake charge on turbocharged vehicles before the air enters the inlet manifold. When the intake charge is compressed by the turbo, it heats up. When this compressed, heated

Read More

Road Safety and your Cooling system

Road Safety and your Cooling system

The Cooling System/ Radiator and Vehicle Fitness How does my radiator affect my safety on the roads? It’s a part of the car that deteriorates with age and a component not always receiving the attention it deserves. People often argue “I will replace it when it leaks" or "I will

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All