Safety Tips for Sharing the Road With Trucks

Please keep in mind that a typical 4-door sedan weighs about 3,000 lbs. Trucks on our major arterial roads routinely operate at 80,000 lbs. It takes a truck, in perfect conditions, considerably more time to stop than a car. Please discipline yourself to follow the following safe driving tips around trucks:

  • Don’t try to beat the truck. Speeding around the truck, changing lanes in front of it, and braking hard is a recipe for disaster. Be patient, slow down and move in behind the truck if you need to turn.
  • Don’t tailgate a truck. A truck will slow quickly even without using the brake. Don’t wait for the trucks brake lights to come on to step on your brake.
  • Let the truck pass. Don’t pull out from a driveway or parking lot thinking the truck can stop in time.
  • Don’t pass a truck on the right. Longer trucks may have to swing out to the left in order to complete a right turn, especially on local roads around shopping centers and industrial parks. Passing on the right is illegal on any street, and can have terrible consequences if you don’t realize the truck is turning in front of you.
  • Assume all trucks are fully loaded. Don’t drive based on your guess that a truck is operating on empty weight only. Even empty trucks take longer to stop than your car.
  • Use your turn signal. The more information and advance notice you can give the truck driver of your impending turn, the better decision he can make to safely navigate his vehicle.