It's a Team's Life

Road Rules

Road Rules

By Jackie and Mike - Millennials in Trucking
Posted Sep 21st 2023 1:30PM

Let this be the direct line of communication from the trucking industry to the two wheelers and the “four wheelers.” Professional truck drivers have learned to respect the roads, and all of the travelers, road trippers, and commuters sharing it with us. Though the only point becoming a lesson to us, is the influx of avoidable accidents we see on a daily basis. These simple tips and motivation on your part to practice these tips, will show you how to become a better driver and allow truckers to more easily share the road with you.

We have compiled a list of “Trucker Road Rules” for driving around rigs and big trucks alike.

▪︎ First and foremost, stay off your phone. It’s sad to have to say, but it has become a game of frogger to swerve around all the texting drivers drifting into our lanes. Pay attention while you’re behind the wheel and wait to find a safe place to use your phone.

▪︎ Let the truck merge. If you are coming up on a big truck with his left blinker on, yet you decide to accelerate to get past him - you are slowing the driver even more which will in turn, lead to a much longer slow down. If a driver turns their signal on, trust that it’s for a good reason and our prompt timing can be crucial for everyone on the road. Allowing the truck to merge will keep traffic flowing smoother and safer. So keep in mind, the next time you come up to slow truck trying to regain speed, know it was likely caused by the individual who decided not to allow that truck to merge due to their own ignorance and disregard.

▪︎ When merging onto a large interstate or highway, freeway traffic has the right of way. As soon as you turn onto the on ramp, you should be getting to highway speed and checking your mirror for vehicles traveling in the right lane. This will allow for a smooth and safe merge. If there is a large truck in the right lane, respect it, because if you try to argue with the rig, you will not win.

It takes the length of a football field to stop a big truck safely.

▪︎ When driving next to a big truck, be mindful and do not sit in our blind spots. (Next to the doors of the cab and along side the trailer) We are not racing so please pass and keep it moving.

▪︎ Heed the golden rule - “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” This mean when passing a large truck from behind, please pass to the left as it will give the driver a quicker line of sight of your vehicle. The blind spot is much larger on the passenger side of trucks. If you pay attention, more than likely we are trying to get back into the right lane, and you’re simply slowing us down from getting over and “out of the way.”

▪︎ When passing a large truck, you should wait until you can see the entire front of the cab in your rear view mirrors, from the pavement to the roof of the truck. This is a good rule of thumb for leaving safe space in front of a rig for everyone’s safety.

▪︎ The same goes for riding behind a big truck. If you are riding too close behind a truck or, “knocking on our doors”, it’s going to be impossible for you to see what is happening in front of the truck. Therefore, if an unexpected situation leads to an emergency stop, you won’t know where to turn to avoid the issue or have enough time to react, and it will be too late.

Victim of Texting while Driving

▪︎ When traveling in a mountainous area, it’s key that you understand what is going on with that big truck. When traveling on an incline, trucks lose speed and will likely be traveling well under the speed limit. Those losing speed or traveling under the speed limit, will turn on their flashers to alert others. Be cautious for these slow moving trucks. Please stay to the left and pass promptly.

▪︎ This is opposite for the downgrade, trucks will start to gain speed due to the weight they’re carrying and will need to keep it slow, as to not lose control or lose their brakes. You will notice lines of trucks continually braking going down the grade. So the same rule applies, stay to the left and pass promptly.