Safe driving: 7 tips on how to stay safe around trucks

Sep 23, 2019 | Same topic: Let's drive smart!
Here’s a list of handy tips on staying safe when driving around big vehicles such as trucks.

Staying safe while on the road takes more than excellent driving skills. It also takes discipline, focus, and courtesy. Keeping safe on the road may not be easy for everybody, especially if they lack even just one of the aforementioned values. This becomes even harder, especially if there are large trucks that are sharing the road with you.

These vehicles are usually tons heavier than your ride. They are often loaded with materials that could roll-off or fall from it like timber, furniture, and other heavy payloads. Indeed, one can come up with so many bad occurrences that could happen while you’re just trying to pass a truck sharing the road with you. So how do you stay safe while driving among these giants?

Philkotse.com prepared a few bits of advice you should consider taking to make sure that you stay safe whenever you’re around trucks.

1. Stay out of their blind spots

If you’ve ever driven a vehicle larger than a regular sedan, then you know that the bigger the size of the vehicle you drive the more blind spots it has. This is why larger vehicles are also built with bigger side-view mirrors. To minimize the chances of getting in an accident, make sure that the truck driver can see you and that you’re out of the blind spot.

As a general rule, you can take a good look at the side mirror and see if the driver is visible from there. If you can’t see the driver from the side mirror, chances are that he can’t see you as well. You should also avoid switching your lights to high-beam whenever you’re approaching a truck to avoid blinding the driver.

Truck turning

Make sure that the truck driver can see you, and that you’re out of the blind spot

>>> Read more: Safe driving: Annoying and dangerous things on the road you might face.

2. Practice passing safely

Passing other vehicles isn’t really that hard and doing so with trucks is pretty much the same except for some minor precautionary reminders. First of all, you need to make sure that there’s plenty of space ahead of you to pass by the truck and that there are no approaching vehicles. Next, you need to get the truck driver’s attention so he can see you before you pass.

You can try honking your horn and look at the truck’s side mirror if you got the driver’s attention. Once you’re certain he sees you, you can now safely speed up and pass. Just make sure that you don’t stay too long in the truck’s blind spot while passing or the driver may think you’re not there anymore. Once you’ve passed the truck, use your mirrors to see if you’ve given it ample space behind you.

If it’s a truck that’s trying to pass you, slow down and drive in a straight line - especially if you’re on a narrow road with a really long truck trying to overtake you.

drive near a truck

You need to make sure that there’s plenty of space ahead of you to pass the truck

>>> View more: A Complete Guide to Trucking Companies in the Philippines

3. Give the truck driver enough time to slow down or stop

When making a turn with a large truck behind you, make sure that you switch on your turn signals about 10 seconds before making the actual turn. Owing to their weight, it’s hard for trucks to stop abruptly. If there’s a truck behind you while on the road, make sure you give the driver ample time to slow down to avoid hitting you as you make a turn.

Driving around the truck

Make sure that you switch on your turn signals about 10 seconds before making an actual turn

>>> Also read: How to drive safely around emergency vehicles.

4. Increase distance between you and the truck

Whether you’re behind a truck or any other type of vehicle while on the road, it’s always safer to keep a four-second distance from it. If you’re directly at the rear side of the truck, you can assume that the driver can’t see you at all.

If you don’t keep a safe distance from the truck’s rear, you can accidentally slide under the truck and possibly end up in a catastrophic road accident. This is a really good tip to remember especially if you’re behind a truck while stuck in traffic in an upward slope. If you’re too close to the rear of the truck and it suddenly rolls backwards, you’d have no time to escape.

Driving behind a 4x4

It’s always safer to keep a four-second distance from a truck or any vehicle

5. Do not cross the turn

Unlike regular-sized vehicles, most trucks will take a longer time to make a turn because of its length or because of the trailer. There are also times when a long truck may need to swing left heavily first before it can turn right.

If you notice a truck with the turn signal on, try and stay back because the driver will need all the space he can get to make the vehicle turn without problems.

Turning truck

Most trucks will take a longer time to make a turn because of its length or because of the trailer

>>> Tips for you: A complete guide to safe driving in the Philippines.

6. Stay focused

Regardless of whether you’re driving alone or sharing the road with a truck, you need to always focus on the road. This means that you shouldn’t be eating, talking to anyone, answering phone calls, adjusting the radio frequency or volume or even indulging in heavy, emotion-filled thoughts that could distract you from what you’re doing. You should always keep both of your hands on the wheel.

Staying focused will let you see potential danger up ahead so you can react to it accordingly rather than being surprised. You would also be able to notice any hazards brought by other rude drivers who run a red light and such.

A truck on the road

Staying safe on the road is so hard if there are large trucks that are running with you

7. Always drive alcohol-free

This piece of advice should be taken regardless of what vehicle you’re driving. Alcohol and/or drugs can cloud your decision-making skills and affect your judgment. This is why it’s not safe to drive when you’re drowsy, hallucinating, or in an emotional whirlpool.

>>> Very important: What to know about driving under the influence (DUI) & its sanctions.

Even if you didn’t take harmful or illegal drugs or alcohol, some over-the-counter prescription drugs can have similar side effects. That’s why you should avoid taking the medication with side effects as much as possible – especially before you decide to drive.

Source: Hanna Miel Sanchez