In addition to heavy 18-wheelers, other large vehicles deserve a bit more attention when you’re on the road. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe around all BIG vehicles…
Rule #1: Give ALL Larger Vehicles More SpaceLarger vehicles have more blind spots than smaller ones, so tailgating or driving in a large vehicle’s blind spot can present significantly more danger. Should a large vehicle make a sudden stop or change lanes unexpectedly, a little extra space can help prevent an accident.
And don’t forget: sometimes larger vehicles need to swing wide to the left in order to safely negotiate a right turn. These drivers can’t see directly behind or beside them, so cutting in between a bus and the curb, for example, increases the possibility of a crash. Pay attention to their signals and give them plenty of room to maneuver. If you can’t see the driver’s face reflected in the mirrors on a large vehicle, the driver can’t see you.
Rule #2: Practice Lane Courtesy
Passing should, as much as possible, be executed to the left of slower moving traffic—this is known as “lane courtesy.”
Abiding by lane courtesy makes the road safer for everyone, as faster drivers have a quick and easy way to get around slower moving vehicles like buses, construction vehicles, and trailers. Since most drivers expect traffic to pass on the left, this allows slower moving vehicles to maneuver more carefully and without sudden surprises.
Finally, after overtaking a large vehicle, don’t cut it off! Instead, wait until you can see the entire vehicle and a few feet of pavement then safely change lanes.
Rule #3: Don’t Rush Construction Vehicles
It can be tempting to speed around slow-moving trucks, cranes, and other specialty vehicles near a job site or construction area—don’t do it!
There are often signs indicating reduced speed ahead of construction zones. These zones can be congested with traffic and road workers are vulnerable so attentiveness is vital. Failure to slow down or aggressive driving in these marked zones can lead to an expensive traffic violation.
Rule #4: Yield to Emergency Vehicles & BusesIf you see flashing lights or hear a blaring siren, slow down and safely pull over to the right side of the road or shoulder and stop. This isn’t a time for fast maneuvering, which can cause accidents. Active ambulances, fire engines, and EMS vehicles always have the right-of-way. Remember: this move-out-of-the-way protocol applies even if the emergency vehicle is coming toward you from the opposite direction.
And if you see a bus pulled to the side of the road to board or deboard passengers, slow down and watch the left rear of the vehicle for the "Yield to Bus" light to be illuminated. Once this sign and the left turn signal are lit, you must stop or slow down to allow the bus to re-enter traffic.
***Accommodating BIG vehicles on our roadways is more than just a courtesy—it’s the law! Follow these simple rules to help keep you and your family safe.