Safe Driving Around Heavy Vehicles

Thursday 4 October 2012, 2:58PM
By Marlborough District Council


Heavy traffic is a fact of life in our rural region. Drivers share the roads with big trucks and slow moving rural vehicles. There are some important things to remember in the interests of your own safety:

Be patient when overtaking

It takes several seconds longer to pass a truck on a level road than it does to pass another car so it's more important than usual to make sure there’s plenty of a clear road ahead to safely complete the overtaking manoeuvre.

Allow enough room to build up speed – but remember to keep your overtaking speed to a level that is safe for the conditions.

Make sure you indicate so the truck driver knows you intend to pass.

As you pass the truck, be aware that air turbulence could affect your vehicle's behaviour. Small cars and motorcycles are particularly affected by the air turbulence around large vehicles.

Remember that it takes a truck longer to stop

At 90 km/h, it will generally take a truck-trailer unit more than twice as far to stop as it would take a car - because of the truck-trailer unit's weight and the design of its brakes.

Watch out for splash and spray when travelling behind or beside trucks

Travelling behind or alongside trucks in wet conditions can be tricky. Splash and spray is thrown out and can make it difficult for you to see clearly.

When approaching an oncoming truck, turn on your wipers just before it passes you. This will ensure your windscreen is wiped as soon as any spray is thrown onto it, reducing the length of time your visibility is obscured.