We have an ongoing commitment to road safety.
Caron knows the length and width of large trucks can create special driving situations for both small and large vehicle drivers. To share the road safely with a truck means being aware of its capabilities and limitations. We are pleased to offer the following suggestions to help all road users share the road comfortably and safely.
Stay Visible When Behind a Truck
When you come to a stop behind a truck, keep to the left of your lane so the driver can see you in his side mirror. Remember if you can’t see the truck driver in one of the side mirrors, then he/she probably can’t see you.
Always leave plenty of room between your vehicle and a truck in front of you to help prevent roll back incidents; these can happen when a truck driver is forced to stop on an upgrade. As the truck driver takes their foot off the brake and releases the clutch pedal, the truck may roll back a few feet. Remember the truck may have a very heavy load and has many gears to shift in order to get going.
Never tailgate, particularly trucks. The truck’s size will almost totally block your view and you will have to rely on his brake lights for a signal that something is going on in front. At the same time you will be in one of the truck driver’s blind spots.
Never pull in front of a truck without leaving adequate room between your vehicle and the front of the truck. Trucks cannot stop suddenly and you might be the cause of a jackknife or a major crash.
The same rules apply for passing a truck as for passing a car. The first step in a safe pass is to check the traffic front and rear. Don’t pull out if you’re being overtaken by traffic from behind or if there is other traffic approaching. Once you have decided to pass and see that the way is clear — don’t hesitate. Declare your intention to pass and follow through as quickly and safely as possible. Before re-entering the lane in which the truck is traveling, wait until you see both of the truck’s headlights in your rear-view mirror. This will ensure you are an adequate distance from the truck. Lastly, be sure you maintain your speed when you are in front of a truck. Truck drivers work hard to get up to normal highway speeds, sometimes shifting through as many as 15 gears. For this reason, trucks take longer to get up to highway speed and must work harder to maintain their speed.
When a truck driver is backing up, he has to use side mirrors. Even though they are very large mirrors, they still leave a big blind spot. Be patient and never cross behind a truck which is preparing to back up.
Always pay close attention to truck turn signals. Many passenger vehicle drivers do not realize that a truck approaching an intersection to make a right turn may move to the left to avoid running the trailer onto the curb. As the truck moves left, a narrow, temporary lane is created to its right. At this point, the driver of a passenger vehicle may move up on the right side of the truck and become vulnerable to a “squeeze” when the truck swings into its right turn.
Keep the Center Lane Open
The center lane is the trucker’s passing lane. On many major roadways, transport trucks are forbidden from using the high speed (far left) lane. That means they rely on the center lane as their passing lane. If you travel in the center lane be sure you are traveling at the posted speed limit.
- Driving Behind Trucks
- If you can see the truck’s mirrors, then the driver can probably see your vehicle. You may make your vehicle more visible by positioning it slightly left of the center of the lane.
- Driving Beside Trucks
- When you must drive beside a truck, do not assume that its driver is aware of your presence. Take extra precautions when overtaking and always try to anticipate changes in traffic flow.
- Driving in Front of Trucks
- Be sure to provide clear indications of your intentions and avoid making sudden changes in speed. Try to anticipate changes in traffic flow before the changes affect you.