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

Automotive glass and its role in vehicle safety

Automotive glass and its role in vehicle safety

There is far more to a modern windscreen than meets the eye. It is a core component as it forms part of the structural frame and integrity of your vehicle. Your windscreen acts as a shield against road debris and other flying objects possibly penetrating the glass (for instance when hail strikes

Read More

Safety from Vehicle Scams and Fraudsters when Buying and Selling Vehicles

Safety from Vehicle Scams and Fraudsters when Buying and Selling Vehicles

Introduction During a tough economic environment, many purchasing decisions are based not on thoughtfulness but on desperation. This is a time when buyers and sellers of vehicles need to be extra cautious of fraudsters targeting their financial and emotional vulnerability! The internet has become

Read More

The Online Vehicle Retail Market and Safely Selling Vehicles Online

The Online Vehicle Retail Market and Safely Selling Vehicles Online

Introduction The South African vehicle market is, despite a challenging economic environment, a growing market. At 1 April 2017, there were in excess of 12 million registered vehicles in South Africa. The number of registered drivers in SA during 2016 increased by 507 002 presenting a new total of

Read More

Buying Vehicles at an Auction

Buying Vehicles at an Auction

Introduction It is essential for road safety that road users share our roads in vehicles that are roadworthy, well maintained and insured. Few vehicle owners are fortunate to buy a brand new vehicle. Most of us have to buy used cars out of hand, via a dealership or at an auction. Buying a used

Read More

Buying a Quality Used Car and Safety on the Road

Buying a Quality Used Car and Safety on the Road

Introduction In a challenging economic climate with tight budgets, few of us are privileged with the financial means to buy a new vehicle. It does not matter whether we call it is used car, a second-hand car or a pre-owned car - but there has been a continually growing market in South Africa for

Read More

Buying a Vehicle, Vehicle Finance and Road Safety

Buying a Vehicle, Vehicle Finance and Road Safety

Driver and vehicle fitness are important requirements for road users to share the roads safely. Vehicle owners should be enabled to make informed decisions on the roads daily, not only with regards to safely driving their vehicles but also on how to acquire, finance and insure those vehicles! Decisions

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All