Driving etiquette is so essential because each driver should play their part in keeping the roads safe. Truck drivers have a “heavy load” or responsibility of legally driving around up to 80,000 pounds! With that in mind, truck drivers should do all they can to navigate the road safely, but the drivers who drive regular automobiles should as well. It’s always best to practice attentive and defensive driving to avoid accidents at all costs. Here are some driving etiquette tips that will benefit truck drivers and non-truckers alike.
Pay Attention to Your Driving Distance
Trucks take over roadways due to their size. For this reason, they need space. FMCSA, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety, has a rule of thumb regarding safe following distance. The FMCSA suggests that if you’re driving under 40 miles per hour, you leave, at the minimum, one second for every ten feet of vehicle length. If you’re going over 40 mph, add another second. This distance allows you to stay safe if you or the truck in front of behind you needs to make an abrupt stop.
Avoid Blind Spots At all Costs
Many trucks have signage indicating where a driver’s blind spots are. If not, then the rule of thumb is that if you can’t see a driver in their side mirror, they can’t see you. You can avoid blind spots at all costs by:
- Maintaining a 30-foot distance behind a truck
- Maintaining a 20-foot distance in front of a truck
- Maintain a one-lane width on the driver’s side
- Maintain a two-lane width on the passenger’s side
Do Not Pass When a Truck Turns
Larger vehicles require more turning room, meaning that a semi-truck may have to take up two lanes while making a wide turn. Another driving etiquette tip is not to pass a vehicle on the right side as it’s traveling in the same direction because you risk trapping yourself between the truck and a curb and dealing with a potential injury or worse.
Refrain From Fluctuating Your Speed
Large vehicles take a lot of momentum and more time to stop. For this reason, it’s helpful to drive at a consistent speed. Trucks cannot always respond to sudden changes efficiently, so be sure to avoid sudden changes in movement if possible.
The Best Driving Etiquette Tip of All: Pay Attention
Many driving accidents happen because someone wasn’t paying attention. If you lose focus of what’s going on around you, it’s impossible to drive defensively. Safe driving should be a goal and is a requirement for everyone.
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