OVERTAKING TRUCKS


Too many drivers take significant risks to save a few minutes on a long trip. People become frustrated at slow trucks on hills and often the speed limit gap between the standard speed limit of 110 and heavy vehicles at 100. The difference usually means cars may pass quite a few trucks, but they will also have plenty of safe opportunities to do so. They can accelerate quickly, as opposed to the slower acceleration of larger vehicles and often limited chances to pass slower traffic.

Sitting next to a truck on the open road can be a dangerous practice for everyone.

The practice of trucks flashing the right-hand indicator to help someone get around is now illegal. Some drivers may still not be aware of this, and it would seem many drivers still expect it. Judging by the number of people who appear to wait to be given a flash and having followed the truck for a while will decide almost on the crest or corner that they must get past this truck. Every truck driver has experienced the same thing many times, and the resulting near misses leave one shaking your head in disbelief. A semi-trailer is 19 metres long, and a vehicle showing a “Long Vehicle” sign (mostly B-Doubles) will be 25 to 26 metres long, so you are attempting to pass 9-10 cars at once. Perhaps if that thought prompts one to have sufficient vision of clear road before trying to pass it will be worth remembering.

For safe overtaking:

 1. If you are right up behind the truck you have very little vision, stay back, allowing you to see better.

 2. Be certain you can see enough clear road to pass safely.

 3. Pass quickly but sensibly.

 4. Don’t pull back in until you see both truck headlights in your mirror allowing a safe space.

 5. Maintain your speed, don’t pass and then slow down. A quick flash of your headlights as you move out to overtake is often worthwhile day or night but at night don’t move to high beam until past the trucks mirrors.

To take such a large risk of the lives of all in the car to save a few minutes,

For safe overtaking: [1.] If you are right on the back of the truck you have very little vision, stay back allowing you to see better. [2.] Be sure you can see enough road to pass safely. [3.] Pass quickly but sensibly. [4.] Don’t pull back in until you see both the headlights of the truck, this allows a safe space. [5.] Maintain your speed, don’t pass and then slow directly in front of the truck. To take a large risk for a gain of a couple of minutes is unsafe and often unnecessary.

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