Traveling in the leaf-peeping season is a gorgeous time of year to be on the roads, but you are always among the bigger vehicles that run the roads year round. Traveling on the roads with 18-wheelers can be dangerous, especially if you do not understand the road language of truck drivers.
Prepare your driving knowledge to travel safely during this beautiful upcoming season. Read through this brief overview, featuring a few things you should know about driving with truckers.
Trucks can’t brake on a dime
Big trucks are built to carry large loads across long distances. Thousands of pounds of steel simply cannot stop at a moment’s notice. Pay attention when changing lanes, and don’t cut off a figurative freight train on the road. Too many accidents are caused by careless drivers each year.
It’s also important to understand the plight of a truck driver when going up and down mountain highways. Steep inclines will significantly slow a truck’s ability to go on the way up, and the way down will be fraught with the smell of burning brakes and flashing hazard lights.
Flashing headlights is communication
When a trucker flashes his headlights, he/she’s not just playing with switches. Truckers commonly use the flashing of their headlights to signal other drivers that the way is clear to move over into the lane ahead.
It’s customary to flash your headlights after shifting lanes to extend a signal of gratitude. The rules apply to all drivers, so don’t be rude when a trucker signals that the way is clear. Say thanks!
Move over for 18-wheelers entering traffic
Whenever you come to the point in the road where an 18-wheeler is heading up the on-ramp, it’s always best to move over. Don’t make the trucker slow down to wait for you to pass. It’s rude, and it takes a lot more for an 18-wheeler to gain speed than it does for your passenger vehicle.
Minimize time spent in blind spots
The worst thing you could do for the safety of yourself and everyone in your vehicle is to hover in the blind spot of an 18-wheeler. Truckers have large spots around their rigs where they simply cannot see you. It’s safer to understand where those spots are, and keep your vehicle out of them as often as possible.
A general rule of thumb is that if you can’t see the driver’s mirrors, then the driver can’t see you. You can also enhance your safety by paying close attention to the front tire of the rig. If it were to move over into your lane, the first thing to cross the yellow line would be the front driver’s side tire.