As you can imagine, trucks, over-sized cargo vans, buses and 18-wheelers need to be treated with special care on the roads. Any accident or incident involving one of these vehicles could likely lead to catastrophic injuries or even death. But, you can take just a few steps to better protect both yourself and the drivers of these large vehicles, including:
Stay out of “No” zones!
The Federal Motor Carrier Association has produced a cool graphic showing these “no” zones. You can find that here. A good rule of thumb is that if you cannot see the driver’s mirrors, then he cannot see you! Don’t drive in the blind spot. Speed up, slow down and merge with extra care.
Use your blinkers for an adequate amount of time to alert the truck of your intent to pass. Pass with purpose, and don’t linger in a blind spot for long or extended periods of time.
Don’t Cut it Close
This means that when you do pass, don’t cut over in front of the large truck, bus or van to closely. Remember, these large vehicles take over 40% longer to stop.
This is common sense, but don’t tailgate a large truck or bus. You can’t see what’s ahead, and he can’t see you. You will remain in their blind spot and you could go under the vehicle in case of a quick stop. Also, remember that larger vehicles roll back when stopped on an incline, so don’t stop right behind one of these vehicles either.
Anticipate Wide Turns
Trucks and buses take wider turns, especially right-hand turns. Often, the drivers of larger vehicles start these turns from the left lane to aid them in their attempt. Don’t try to squeeze around them on either side.
Be Patient and Alert
This goes with driving in general, but be patient with other drivers. Be diligent in driving, and drive with purpose, but don’t be overly aggressive. Remember to always buckle up and secure all children in age-appropriate seats. Also, don’t drive fatigued and stay focused. If you feel yourself becoming drousy or not as alert, stop and get a coffee, splash water on your face and stretch your legs. All these techniques can offer some revitalization.