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Pit yourself against an oversized, heavy machinery and you are bound to be at the losing end - regardless whether you are in the right, or wrong.
Category: Miscellaneous Advice
Do you feel intimidated by large trucks when you are driving along on the roads? I am, and you should be, too. Large tipper trucks (the type that hauls sand) often weigh in excess of 10 tons, unladen. That's easily 10 times the weight of an economy sedan.
Take a minute to imagine what would happen, if you got in the way of something weighing this much. Just take a look at the carnage this truck made when it failed to stop. While that accident was scary and near impossible to avoid, you should always be extra careful around such heavy vehicles. Here's how you can stay safe.
Stay out of their blind spots
During your driving test, you had to look over your shoulder to check for vehicles in the blind spots that aren't covered by the mirrors.
Heavy vehicles suffer from the same problem of blind spots, only they have it much worse, no thanks to the high seating position and the sheer size of these behemoths. As a general rule of thumb, the blind spots of a truck consists of about 1.5 car lengths right in front, 2 car lengths behind, the lane right beside the driver and up to 2 lanes on the passenger (left) side. Yea, it really is pretty scary.
Whether you are a driver, biker, cyclist or a pedestrian, you should try to avoid the potential blind spots - don't attempt to cut off a truck right in front of it or tailgate it, really. Just be attentive, and stay out of their way.
Leave plenty of space
Staying in close proximity to a heavy vehicle on the road is pointless and dangerous. You are just putting yourself in harm's way. And I'm not only talking about being invisible to the drivers.
The large, often knobby tyres on heavy vehicles can easily kick up rock and debris that can damage your car. Also, you wouldn't want to be anywhere near if a truck tyre were to blowout.
Driving too close to a heavy vehicle is a sure way to obstruct your view of the road as well. Driving right behind one, you won't be able to tell what's coming up next.
Heavy vehicles also take longer to stop due to their weight. Hence, it would be wise to leave some additional space, or better yet, avoid being in the direct line of fire. So should the heavy vehicle's brakes fail, you won't be squashed.
Signal your intentions and do it earlier
Large objects aren't exactly known to be nimble. Due to their size and weight, heavy vehicles are incapable of agile movements, be it to avoid a potential accident or getting to a stop quickly.
Hence, if the driver noticed your abrupt movement and attempts to get out of your way, there's a good chance that the vehicle wouldn't be able to react to the inputs in time.
Never try to pull off a last minute lane change into the way of a huge truck, if you don't want to end in a wreck. Try to signal your intentions way earlier, to give the truck driver ample time to notice what you are trying to do.
Watch out when heavy vehicles are turning
Heavy vehicles, especially those with a longer wheelbase, will often require a larger space to complete a turn.
Heavy vehicles might sway out and encroach into the adjacent lane before making a sharp turn or U-turn. It is important to stay out of the way, and do not attempt to overtake them at that moment.
The drivers won't be able to see you, and you will likely end up crashing right into the belly of the truck, incurring costly damages or serious injuries.
By now you would have noticed the theme of driving around heavy vehicles - being patient is key.
These are large vehicles that have to be driven with care, and would usually not be going at a high speed. But all that doesn't mean that it would be a smart choice to cut them off, even if you are in a rush. Remember all the pointers mentioned, acting impatiently around trucks will only increase the risk of getting into an accident.
Drive patiently and courteously around these giant beasts, cast aside your ego and need-for-speed, and you should be fine.