Driving a passenger car can be an exhilarating experience at times, but sharing the road with commercial vehicles can be intimidating as well. These behemoths, including tractor trailers, delivery trucks and buses, have unique operating characteristics and road behaviors that require car drivers to take extra caution. However, with a better understanding of these commercial vehicles and a few tips on how to share the road safely, you can navigate the roads with confidence.
Tractor trailers, commonly known as semi-trucks or big rigs, are the largest commercial vehicles on the road. They can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can be up to 75 feet long. Due to their size and weight, they require a longer stopping distance and a wider turning radius than passenger cars.
Car drivers should be mindful of this when following a tractor trailer and provide ample space when passing. Additionally, it’s essential to keep an eye on the trailer’s blind spots, known as “no zones,” which are located behind and beside the vehicle. If you are ever involved in a collision with a tractor trailer that results in injury, consider contacting a tractor trailer injury attorney.
Delivery trucks are a common sight in urban areas, making their way through narrow streets and tight turns. They often have side-mounted mirrors and can obstruct a driver’s view, making it challenging to judge their size and speed.
When passing a delivery truck, car drivers should give extra room and never try to squeeze by in the same lane. Additionally, delivery trucks make frequent stops, so it’s crucial to be alert for sudden braking and to give them plenty of room to maneuver.
Buses, whether school buses or city transit buses, are a staple on roads and highways. With their large size and limited visibility, it’s essential for car drivers to give them plenty of room.
When passing a bus, it’s crucial to leave a wide berth, as buses have a tendency to sway when turning or maneuvering. Additionally, car drivers should be mindful of school buses and be prepared to stop when they activate their flashing red lights and stop arm.
Construction vehicles including dump trucks, bulldozers and backhoes can pose a challenge for car drivers, especially in work zones. These vehicles often travel at slower speeds and make sudden stops, so it’s crucial to keep a safe following distance.
Car drivers should always give way to fire trucks when they are flashing their red lights, as they are responding to emergencies and need to get to their destination quickly. When a fire truck approaches from the rear, car drivers should pull to the right side of the road and stop, allowing the truck to pass. When approaching a fire truck from the front, car drivers should also move to the right lane and stop, providing a clear path for the emergency vehicle.
Sharing the road with commercial vehicles can be a challenge for car drivers, but with a better understanding of these behemoths and a few tips, you can navigate the roads with confidence. Remember, a little caution and patience can go a long way in ensuring safe and smooth travels for all road users.