You probably have more than one memory involving a horror scene while driving on a highway or interstate road with an 18-wheeler. There are people who drive their whole lives in fear of the big trucks on the road, but you don’t have to live in fear.
Help offset your unsettled feeling while passing an 18-wheeler on the road, and arm yourself with a little fresh insight. Here are a few pieces of info you might find useful the next time you find yourself on a long road trip.
Move with purpose
When you’re driving near or past a big truck, you need to move with purpose. Don’t lollygag, and drive beside the truck for ten miles. Lollygagging leads to unfortunate truck accidents and messy lawsuits.
Keep moving, and get past the large vehicle. Truck drivers need space, and they can’t always see you when you’re riding beside their rig.
If you choose to pull in front of a truck, keep it moving. Do your best not to make the 18-wheeler have to touch its brakes, and put some pressure on that gas pedal.
The flashing of headlights
If you’ve ever noticed a truck driver flipping his headlights off and on again, then you’ve witnessed road communication. Truck drivers flip their lights as a sign that it is safe to switch lanes.
They also flip their lights off and on to say thank you to the other driver who initiated the communication. When smaller vehicles understand this communication, it makes everyone on the road a bit safer.
Understand the blind spots
It will work to your benefit to study and understand the various “blind spots” for 18-wheeler drivers. Riding in a trucker’s blind spot is very dangerous, as the driver can’t see you. If they decide to move (or move suddenly), you’ll be in a very dangerous situation.
Riding too close to a truck’s rear end places you in a blind spot. Riding parallel to the middle of an 18-wheeler places you in a blind spot. Do your best to avoid hovering in these areas, and you’ll be safer on the roads.
Understand the weight of a loaded truck
It helps to understand the reason why it’s a bad idea to pull slowly out in front of a moving big truck. The weight rolling behind the cab of a fully loaded 18-wheeler can be up to 15 times that of the average sedan.
When that much weight is in motion, it takes a minute to stop it. Truckers can’t stop on a dime, so don’t place them in a situation where they have to do it.
Most truckers aren’t big scary greasy dudes
Truckers are not the scary characters some people perceive them to be. On average, they’re simply solitary young men/women who really enjoy being out on the open road. They also go through rigorous teaching and testing before they’re ever endowed with their CDLs.