Its no doubt that Container and petrol trucks are intimidating to drivers especially if you started driving. These vehicles can rum you out of the road and intimidate you with their huge nature. However there are tips on how to drive safely around these vehicles.
When a truck is turning or changing lanes, it can easily crush a car that’s in its blind spot. Drivers are trained to watch out for vehicles entering their blind spots, and experienced drivers know how to anticipate when another vehicle may have entered a blind spot even though they cannot see all of the perimeters of the truck. However, you don’t want to rely on that training and experience. An unskilled, intoxicated or distracted truck driver can very easily make a mistake, costing you your life. How do you know if you are in a blind spot? Look for the driver. If you can’t see the driver through the windows or in a mirror, you’re in a blind spot!
Horn before and while overtaking
As much as possible, overtake the truck only on the driver side so he can see you clearly, and when doing so please hoot. You should however do this responsibly, not to the point of becoming a menace to other road users.
Give enough space on a steep slope
It is not safe to drive too close behind a truck when it is going uphill. Give as much space as possible between your vehicle and the truck.
Apply the same caution if you are in front of the truck driving downhill.
You should always be aware of your surroundings and on the lookout for erratic behavior when driving a vehicle especially in the presence of a big truck.
If you see a truck making strange or sudden maneuvers, or the trailer starts to sway, keep your distance. It could indicate equipment failure, obstacles in the road, or an intoxicated driver.
Watch for wide turns
When trucks swing out to the left taking up two lanes of traffic before making a right hand turn, they do it because they have to, not just to annoy other drivers. In the process, they create and open space to their immediate right, which many drivers are tempted to pull into. Never, pull into that space, even if the truck does not have its blinker on. You could be crushed.
Truck drivers have a responsibility to look for other vehicles and to use their turn signals, but if you pull into this space you will be in a very bad blind spot, and the trucker may not see you. It’s not worth the risk to save a few minutes in traffic.