Defective Motorcycles or Trucks

Today’s highways are home to a variety of vehicles that range in size from motorcycles to tractor trailers. Each of these vehicles has differing operational characteristics. Safely sharing the road requires some understanding of how these vehicles operate. Because the most dangerous of these vehicles is the tractor trailer rig, it is important that driver’s understand the limitations and special handling needs of these vehicles.

Maintain a Safe Distance. Keep your distance when following a large truck or rig. The farther away you are the less likely you are to collide. Trucks tend to throw up rocks and water when it is raining. They also tend to roll back before starting up hill. We behind a truck, always try to position yourself so that you can be seen by the driver. If the driver knows you are there he can also avoid coming into your lane in a lane change situation.

Pass With Caution. Always pass a truck on its left side. If you can see the drivers mirrors he can probably see you as well. Do not get into the trucks lane of travel until you are well ahead of it. Trucks can not slow down and stop quickly and need more space than a normal vehicle to stop timely.

Avoid Blind Spots. Rigs have blind spots on both sides, in front and directly behind. Always see and be seen. As a rule if you are driving behind a tractor trailer and can not see on of its side mirror, the driver can not see you. Stay clear of these areas as much as possible.

Beware of Air Turbulence. Pass trucks using wide sweeps to reduce the effect of air turbulence created by the truck. A wide sweep also gives you a margin of safety should the truck sway out of its lane of travel. An oncoming truck can also create a burst of air as it passes. To minimize turbulence, stay far to the right in your lane.

Beware of Turning Trucks. Trucks need lots of room to turn. Truck drivers have a tendency to turn wide. Never pull into the open space created by the driver making a wide turning maneuver.

Use Your Windshield Wipers. Are your windshield wipers on? “In wet weather, remember to turn on your wipers before passing my truck. The splash and spray thrown up from 18 wheels can be blinding, and you will need two hands on the steering wheel to maintain control. Don’t pass if the splash and spray is too severe.”

Remember, when sharing the road with large trucks, the bigger they are: the larger their blind spots; the longer it takes them to stop; the more distance you need to pass them; and, the more room they need to maneuver


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