This is a great idea, well executed, presenting the top ten tips, for people driving around trucks to be aware of. The top ten list comes from a survey conducted by Rod Hannifey, the perennial trucking advocate.
These videos are going to be rolled out on a daily basis on social media during the Easter period. Our job, as the trucking industry, is to share and like these posts as much as possible to get the message out to as wide an audience as possible.
It is no good congratulating ourselves on a good presentation, if nobody gets to see these videos. The main target are those millions of motorists with zero knowledge of the trucking industry and no understanding of the issues involved in driving around trucks.
Many in the trucking industry complain about the behaviour of cars and other light vehicles around our trucks. The issue is a complete lack of knowledge or training in the vast majority of those driving on our roads.
Perhaps these videos will help to get the process of chipping away at these issues started and provoke a public dialogue with those who need to be better informed.
Tip Number One is:
Don’t cut in front of trucks
A loaded B-double can weigh 40 to 50 times that of the average sedan. Because of this substantial weight difference, trucks take much longer to stop than a car. Leave plenty of space in front of trucks approaching traffic lights or out on the highway.
Tip Number Two is:
Do not overtake turning vehicle
The “Do not overtake turning vehicle” sign on the rear of vehicles over 7.5 metres in length allows them to legally turn from the second or even third lane as needed to safely get around a corner.
Tips Number Three and Four are:
Speed limited and being overtaken
The speed that a heavy vehicle can travel is closely governed and by law it is not possible for the driver to increase their speed beyond 100kph. So assuming a truck has caught up to you it is logical then that the truck is going faster than you and it would make sense for you to allow the truck to pass when it is safe to do so.
Tip Number Five is:
As you commute, holiday or drop the kids at school or sport, please remember that for truck drivers the road is their working environment. A bit of patience and courtesy goes a long way.
Tip Number Six is:
Being aware that where you position your vehicle on the road can help make everyone safer. Trucks are wide as well as long, so stay to the left of your lane. If you need to pull over, stop well clear of the fog line and use hazard lights.
Tip Number Seven is:
High beam glare contributes to night driving fatigue. Dip your lights before reaching a crest, a curve or as you approach a truck from behind. Trucks mirrors are much larger, so don’t change to high beam until past the truck’s mirrors. Check your headlight alignment regularly, particularly if your car is loaded up, and only use fog lights in fog.
Tip Number Eight is:
Caravans and motorhomes
When being overtaken, maintain speed and position. Only slow when the truck has moved out to pass. Quality mirrors, towing hitches and good advice are priceless. A CB or UHF radio can also be worthwhile, and fitting stickers on the front and rear of your van lets drivers know how to contact you.
Tip Number Nine is:
If you are right behind the truck, you have very little vision. Be sure you can see enough road ahead before overtaking sensibly. Don’t pull back in until you can see both the truck’s headlights—this allows a safe space. Maintain your speed –don’t pass and then slow directly in front of the truck.
Tip Number Ten is:
Do not overtake turning vehicles – roundabouts
The “Do not overtake turning vehicles” sign also applies at roundabouts. Larger trucks often need both lanes. Acommon misunderstanding about roundabouts is that you always give way to your right. In fact, every state dictates that drivers entering a roundabout have to give way to any vehicle that is already on it. Once stopped, it takes a while for a truck to get going again, so making it stop will slow all the traffic down. If you arrive at the entrance at a similar time, you could slow a little and let the truck continue its momentum.
This initiative was funded by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, supported by the Commonwealth Government, and produced by Whiteline Television.