Understanding how close you can safely get to other vehicles is crucial to protect you and them. When it comes to trucks, the distances become greater.
There are several reasons for this:
Trucks need more space to turn
They often need to swing out in the opposite direction before turning in the direction they want to go because they have such large turning circles.
They take longer to stop
How long it takes to stop a vehicle depends partly on how heavy it is. A tractor-trailer, therefore, takes far longer to brake to a halt than a small car. If you need to pull in front after overtaking, allow a large gap before doing so.
They block your vision of the road in front
If you are sitting on a truck’s tail, you will have no idea what is happening in front because the truck’s bulk prevents you from seeing past it. Hence, if the driver needs to brake because something happens in front of them, you will have no warning. Once you see the brake lights go on, it may be too late to slow yourself in time to avoid going under the back of the trailer.
Truck drivers struggle to see you when you are close
Trucks have huge blind spots, extending much further than those of smaller vehicles. If their driver cannot see you, they are more likely to collide with you if they think it is clear to maneuver when it is not.
Things can come off them
Loads occasionally fall off trucks, or the wind can topple the entire trailer. If you are alongside, you are likely to be squashed.
If you are injured by a truck, it is too late to think about your road position, yet even if you were too close, you might can probably still get compensation with the right help.