I noticed the headline about giving Big Trucks space. It is true that no one wants to be behind a big truck, but you must also realize that sometimes that is the safestÂ place to be!
Trucks have a blind space just like cars do. The key is if you cannot see their mirrors, they cannot see you. Doesn’t that say “don’t follow too close”?
One of the biggest problems for truckers involves construction zones. This is when many drivers will try to do anything rather than follow that big truck through slow zones. Keep in mind, that when approaching a construction area it is not wise to try to rush around a semi-rig and then have to hit your brakes. Maybe you can stop on a dime – but that semi is going to need the whole dollar, or more! The distance they can stop takes in consideration what they are hauling, what type of trailer they are pulling and the road conditions, plus the experience of the driver.
Tankers, for example, are a totally different breed. These are hauling thousands of pounds of liquid – not a stable load. Turning sharply can shift the load, possibly causing a roll-over. When you stop a tanker, the load is coming forward – you only hit brakes once, never pump them. When the product comes forward, it can feel like it is coming right into the cab with you. There are baffles (separations) in fuel tankers, but food grade tankers are one huge tank with all that liquid sloshing freely inside. Pumping the brakes gives the effect of waves coming ashore – in and out, in and out. Picture that with thousands of pounds of juice pounding you, trying to keep going forward and then pushing back. It is scary!
We share the road with many types of vehicles – sharing means just that – sharing. Be courteous, keep a cushion around your vehicle. One State Trooper commented that it would be nice if all people had to take the motorcycle safety course – they are taught “watch out for yourself – because no one else is!” They are taught to continually watch ahead for anything unexpected that may be in the road, beside the road, coming toward you or coming up behind you. Especially watch for those LFFCTCMW (Little Fast Furry Critters That Cause Motorcycle Wrecks). Driving is not a spectator sport, you must be an active participant.