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Getting a Handle On How to Safely
Share the Road With Trucks

 

A Crash Course in Driving Around Trucks

There's good news and bad news about highway safety concerning cars/motorcycles and big trucks.

First the bad news:
More than 200,000 crashes involving at least one passenger car or motorcycle and one large truck happen each year.
In more than 60% of all fatal crashes involving big trucks, police report that the small vehicle driver rather than the truck driver contributed to the cause of the crash.
Most crashes involving automobiles and trucks occur in daylight on straight and dry pavement under good weather conditions.
Because trucks are so much bigger and heavier than cars/motorcycles, the driver of the smaller vehicle (that's you and me) not the truck (that's the big guys that bend in the middle and go shshshshsh), is killed in a fatal car/motorcycle vs truck crashes.

 

Now, the good news:
Many of these crashes could be avoided if motorists knew about truck limitations and how to steer clear of unsafe situations involving trucks.
That's exactly what this web page is designed to do -- help you understand the differences between cars/motorcycles and trucks so you can improve your road sharing skills and help reduce car/motorcycle vs truck crashes.

 

Remember, Trucks Don't Drive Like Cars or Motorcycles

Seems obvious, doesn't it? But the fact is that while most people realize that it's more difficult to drive a truck than a car or motorcycle, many don't know exactly what a truck's limitations are in terms of maneuverability, stopping distances, and blindspots. So here's a handy rule of thumb.....

Generally speaking, the bigger the truck is:
The bigger their blindspots
The more room they need to maneuver.
The longer it takes them to stop.
The longer it takes to pass them.
The more likely you're going to be the loser in a collision.

 

Okay, now that we've covered some of the basics it's time to get down to some specific situations that come up when you're sharing the road with trucks. So read on and prepare to enter a new dimension in highway safety as we introduce you to.......... the No-Zone.

 

 

 

 

Help Promote WRECKLess Driving

The Key to Safer Highways:
Know the No-Zone

The No-Zone represents danger areas around trunks where crashes are more likely to occur.

Passing
When motorcycles cut in too soon after passing, then abruptly slow down, truck drivers are forced to compensate with little time or room to spare. Because it takes longer to pass a large vehicle, you should maintain a consistent speed when passing and be sure you can see the cab of the truck in your rear-view mirror before pulling in front.

Backing Up
When a truck is backing up, it sometimes must temporarily block the street to maneuver its trailer accurately. Never pass close behind a truck that is preparing to back up or is in the process of backing up. Remember, most trailers are 8 1/2 feet wide and can completely hide objects that suddenly come between them and a loading area. So if you try to pass behind the truck, you enter a (No-Zone) blindspot for you and the truck driver.

The No-Zone Rear Blindspots
Unlike cars, trucks have deep blindspots directly behind them. Avoid tailgating in this No-Zone. the truck driver can't see your motorcycle in this position and your own view of traffic flow is severely reduced. Following too closely greatly increases your chance of a rear-end collision with a truck.

Side Blindspots
Trucks have much larger blindspots on both sides of their vehicles than passenger vehicles or motorcycles. when you drive in these blindspots (No-Zones) for any length of time, you can't be seen by truck drivers. If a commercial driver needs to change lanes quickly for any reason, a serious crash could occur with the vehicle in the No-Zone.

Wide Turns
Truck drivers sometimes need to swing wide to the left in order to safely negotiate a right turn. They cannot see cars directly behind or beside them. Cutting in between the commercial vehicle and the curb or shorter to the right increases the possibility of a crash.

Blind
DOT

 

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