In our first festive season article, light motor vehicle drivers were advised how to handle reckless drivers and not become one themselves. Now, the focus is on truck drivers and how to handle other drivers that place this kind of pressure on them, particularly on the busy roads of the festive period.
The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says truck drivers often face plenty of pressure and reckless driving on the roads at this time of year. “Their slower speeds naturally place greater pressure on them to move over for faster drivers and also make them recipients of rage when they aren’t able to do this. Consequently, there are a few essential tips to remember when it comes to reckless driving around heavy motor vehicles.”
- No truck driver is obligated to move over to let you pass. In fact, some truck drivers are not allowed to do this according to their company policy. Many do have notices on their vehicles indicating that they are forbidden to drive in the yellow lane. Thus, if a truck driver doesn’t move over when you expect them to, bear this in mind and rather commit to passing the truck safely yourself, without placing any pressure on them or expecting their assistance.
- Even if a company policy allows yellow lane driving, remember truck drivers have a much better view of oncoming obstacles than smaller vehicles. Consequently, it is possible a driver may not move over because they can see an unsafe situation that you do not. Be patient and give every driver an adequate chance to move over when they feel it is safe to do so rather than impatiently swerving around them immediately.
- Driving a truck is not the same as driving a car. The larger mass of a truck means it needs much more time than a car to stop. If you need to squeeze into the space in front of a truck, make sure there is two to three times as much space as what a car would need to stop.
- Look at MasterDrive’s diagram indicating blind spots on a truck. There are more and larger blind spots. Never keep pace with a truck. The only time you should drive next to a truck is to pass them.
- If you see a truck in a dilapidated state, rather move away as quickly and safely as possible. It is likely adequate maintenance has not been done.
- When you encounter an aggressive, speeding or reckless truck driver, the same rule applies as with smaller vehicles. Quickly and safely move out of their way and let them pass rather than get upset or get into an altercation.
For truck drivers, it may be frustrating encountering more motorists than usual. “This is especially true of ones that may not necessarily be accustomed to driving long-distance or sometimes barely driving at all as remote working grows. This festive season commit to being courteous, kind and forgiving driver so that the period is less stressful for all.
“If you accept from the start that you’re going to encounter those that drive recklessly, selfishly or in a way that is potentially frustrating for truck drivers, each interaction with such a driver will be less negative.”
As we head into this is this festive season, let us all prioritise respect. “Particularly following the challenges created by COVID-19, frustration levels might be high but if we are courteous to one another, we can reduce the stress and potential accidents considerably,” says Herbert.