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6 Vital Rules for Sharing the Road With Truck Drivers

Here at United Truck Driving School, our blog posts are typically focused around tips for professional truck drivers. However, no matter how prepared they are for the road, passenger vehicle drivers need to be alert and well versed in the rules of the road too. With this in mind, the following tips are aimed at helping drivers share the road with trucks, freight, and other vehicles driven by professional truck drivers.

Pass Trucks and Truck Drivers With Caution

In the United States of America, the driver sits on the left-hand side of a car or truck. This, therefore, makes the blind spots on the right-hand side of the vehicle difficult to see. When passing a truck, whether on a busy highway or open road, always pass on the left side.

This practice makes it easier, and not to mention safer, for the truck driver and you. Remember to never linger in a blind spot when passing either! Truck drivers have a limited amount of vision, especially on the sides of their vehicle. By staying in the blind spots or no-zones, you are putting yourself and the truck driver in danger.

Use Your Signal Early

Quickly switching lanes at the last minute to pass a truck is a recipe for disaster. You must initiate your turn signal early on, so the truck driver can acknowledge that you are behind him or her and moving into the left lane. Considering that trucks require more time to brake, slow down, merge and accelerate, properly using your signal gives the truck driver enough time to safely move or allow you to switch lanes.

Stay Alert

Even when you are not driving around trucks or other large vehicles, you should always stay alert. When driving, avoid the following activities at all costs:

  • Texting
  • Talking on the phone
  • Reaching around your car
  • Daydreaming
  • Reading
  • Working
  • Rubbernecking

These distracting activities are the most common reasons for accidents, regardless of the type of vehicle accident.

Understand That Trucks Need Space to Turn

Never try to squeeze in between a truck and the curb. If a truck is turning right, they need quite a bit of distance in order to safely and properly turn their entire vehicle. By attempting to pass them or squeeze into the lane, you are putting yourself, your passengers and the truck driver in jeopardy.

Always Drive the Speed Limit

Driving too slow or too fast is dangerous in any situation. If you are distracted and driving far under the speed limit, a truck may not have enough time to brake accordingly. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you are speeding, a truck may not see your vehicle in time.

Allow Trucks to Merge on Highways and Busy Roads

Many of our nation’s roadways do not allow enough space or time for a professional truck driver to correctly merge onto a speeding or busy highway. If you notice a truck trying to merge into your lane, give them ample space, have patience, or even move to the next lane to your left. It will make it easier for you and the truck driver!

Use these tips the next time you’re on the road near a truck driver.

Interested in what it takes to become a professional truck driver? Contact United Truck Driving School today to learn more about enrolling in our 18-day CDL Class A program.