Driving on the interstate is the chosen path of most travelers on the roads, and there are thousands of 18-wheelers on the roads at any given time. Sometimes, the two collide in an ugly accident. One of the most efficient tools for avoiding such disaster is knowledge.
The more you know about driving alongside truckers, the more copacetic your next road trip will feel. Here is a brief summary of a few of the most important do’s and don’ts of traveling the roads with truckers.
Flashing headlights is communication
If you’ve ever driven the interstate at night, you’ve probably noticed an 18-wheeler headlights flashing off and on or from low to high beams and back. The driver is not just playing with switches on the dashboard. They’re sending a message.
Flashing of the headlights is a signal saying either that it is safe to switch lanes or thank you for clearing the way to shift lanes. If you see a trucker do this, the way is clear. Flash your headlights back at them once you have merged to show appreciation of the gesture.
The fear of drifting truck drivers
It’s not uncommon for drivers to have a fear of truckers switching lanes as they ride parallel to one another. Your best defense against this fear is to watch the front tire of the truck beside you. If the driver is merging, that front tire will be the first thing to cross the line.
Keep your cool if a truck begins merging while you are driving parallel to each other. Depending on your positioning, there are a few things you can do to avoid an accident with a truck. Speed up or slow down to move away from the 18-wheeler. You may also try honking your horn to notify the driver of your presence.
Passing an 18-wheeler on the road
As the operator of a smaller vehicle, you need to be direct in your approach to passing an 18-wheeler. Once you commit to passing, you need to use the gas pedal. Don’t dilly dally around while passing a big truck.
Understand their blind spots
Truck drivers have more blind spots sitting in their cab than you do sitting in your smaller vehicle. There are several spots around a big truck where your vehicle cannot be seen by the driver’s mirrors. Learn the spots, and stay out of these trouble areas as you are traveling.
Braking doesn’t come as easily to trucks
Truckers are hauling thousands of pounds of cargo with their rigs, and they simply cannot stop on a moment’s notice. Don’t take the chance of cutting off an 18-wheeler, as you could find yourself in a very tough position.