for trucks and other vehicles
It is more difficult to drive a large truck than a passenger car for the following reasons:
- Heavy trucks cannot gain speed as quickly as cars, especially while traveling uphill. However, because of its large size, a tractor-trailer often appears to be travelling at a slower speed than it is.
- Large trucks require additional turning room because their rear wheels do not follow the path of their front wheels. When following a tractor-trailer, observe its turn signals before trying to pass. If it appears to be starting a left turn, check to see which way he's signaling before you attempt to pass.
- Truck brakes create heat when the truck is traveling downhill. This condition requires additional stopping distance for the truck.
When driving beside large trucks or any large vehicle, the wind currents created by the larger vehicle may affect your steering. Give the truck plenty of room. When following large trucks, your vision may be blocked. Use caution while attempting to pass these vehicles.
Many motorists falsely assume that truckers can see the road better because they sit twice as high as the driver of a car. However, truckers still have serious blind spots or NO-ZONES into which a car can disappear from view- up to 20 feet in front of the cab, on either side of the tractor-trailer, particularly alongside the cab, and up to 200 feet in the rear. (see diagram)
Motorists lingering in the NO-ZONES hamper the trucker's ability to take evasive action to avoid a dangerous situation. An excellent rule of thumb for motorists sharing the road with a tractor-trailer is, "if you can't see the truck driver in his side view mirror, he can't see you."
Recreational Vehicles and Trailers
- Most recreational vehicles, including motor homes, campers and travel trailers, are longer, higher and wider than passenger cars.
- Recreational vehicles and trailers accelerate and stop more slowly than cars and require more room for turning.
- Visibility is a major problem with recreational vehicles - remember that the closer you are as you approach a recreational vehicle, the more it will block your field of vision.
- Drivers of recreational vehicles can lose sight of you because their blind spots are much larger than those of cars.
When you approach a vehicle towing a trailer:
- watch for any sway or possible hazards, such as crosswinds or slippery curves;
- be aware that sudden braking might cause the trailer to jackknife; and
- use extreme caution while passing a trailer and the towing vehicle. It may take you a half mile of clear roadway to safely pass.
Towing a trailer or boat requires special skill, as well as consideration on the part of each driver.