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Driving Near Large Vehicles: Safety Tips Around Trucks and Buses

Driving Near Large Vehicles: Safety Tips Around Trucks and Buses

Sharing the road with large vehicles such as trucks and buses requires a heightened sense of awareness and understanding. These behemoths have unique handling characteristics that differ significantly from regular passenger cars. Here are essential safety tips to remember when driving near them:

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Essential Safety Tips

  1. Understand the Blind Spots: Every vehicle has blind spots, but for trucks and buses, these areas are much larger. Familiarize yourself with these "No Zones" - areas where your car disappears from the view of the truck or bus driver. If you can't see the driver's face in their side mirror, they probably can't see you. Always aim to stay visible. 
  2. Maintain Safe Distances: Large vehicles need more distance to stop, especially at high speeds. Avoid tailgating and always leave a safety cushion when driving behind or in front of them. This ensures you have enough reaction time and space to avoid potential hazards. 
  3. Wide Turns are a Necessity: Trucks and buses often need to make wide turns, especially to the right. They might swing out in the opposite direction first to navigate the turn. Never try to squeeze between the vehicle and the curb, and always wait for them to complete their turn. 
  4. Pass with Caution: If you need to overtake a large vehicle, do so swiftly and safely. Always pass on the left side, where the driver has a better view of you. Once you've passed, ensure the entire front of the large vehicle is visible in your rearview mirror before merging back in front of them. 
  5. Avoid Cutting Off: Given their longer stopping distances, cutting off a truck or bus can be dangerous. If you need to merge in front of one, ensure you provide ample space. 
  6. Stay Out of the Side-by-Side Trap: If you find yourself driving alongside a truck or bus, either speed up or slow down to get out of their blind spot. Staying directly next to them for extended periods can be risky, especially if they need to change lanes or avoid a road hazard. 
  7. Anticipate Wide Turns: Large vehicles might need to swing wide or even initiate a turn from a middle lane. Always be cautious and give them the space they need, especially in intersections. 
  8. Stay Alert in Adverse Conditions: In conditions like rain, fog, or snow, large vehicles can create road spray, reducing visibility. Maintain a greater following distance and use your headlights to ensure you're seen. 
  9. Be Patient: Remember, trucks and buses have limitations due to their size and weight. They can't accelerate, turn, or stop as quickly as cars. Always be patient and make safe decisions based on the behavior of the large vehicle. 
  10. Stay Informed: Many regions have specific rules or advisories for driving near large vehicles. Familiarize yourself with local regulations and always respect truck and bus drivers as professionals doing their job.

By keeping these tips in mind and practicing defensive driving, you can ensure safer journeys for yourself and those around you. Remember, when it comes to road safety, knowledge and patience go a long way. Safe travels!