On the Arrive Alive website road, users are cautioned to drive safely and to be cautious of other road users in their blind spots. We also find some important safety suggestions:
- It is vital to make sure that nothing is concealed before changing lanes moving off or performing a manoeuvre such as pulling out of a parking space.
- People on foot or on bikes are easy to lose in the space behind a pillar.
- When driving towards a road junction it is wise to look further ahead and scan left to right as you continue to drive forward. That way you will see things through the windscreen before they become lost behind the pillars
- Check and adjust your mirrors and find your blind spots. Check your blind spots by turning your head to look over your shoulder before changing lanes, passing, turning or before opening your door when parked next to traffic.
- Signal when you want to move left or right. Check again to make sure the way is clear and steer gradually into the new lane, maintaining the same speed or gently increase it.
- Be alert to the fact that the driver next to you might not be aware of your presence – and rather increase or decrease your speed to avoid being in his blind spot.
- Stay out of other driver’s blind spots, especially large vehicles like trucks.
Extra caution is however also required when sharing the roads with trucks. Few drivers, bikers, cyclists and pedestrians are aware of the limitations of a truck driver to carefully observe their movements in the blind spots around the truck.
Some Important Safety Tips when driving near Trucks
Know the Safety Zones!!
Front no-go zone
Cutting in front of a truck can be a fatal mistake. At 80km/h, it takes the length of about a rugby field (100 metres) for a truck to come to a complete stop.
- Allow at least one car length for every 16km/h you are travelling before merging in front of a truck.
- When passing a truck, never cut in front of it and then slow down.
Side no-go zone
Trucks have extremely large blind spots on both sides. Even with large side-view mirrors, truck drivers can’t see everything around them. Driving in these areas can be dangerous.
- Stay out of a truck’s blind spot.
- If you have to pass, give yourself plenty of space and extra time.
- Avoid driving alongside a truck for long periods of time.
Rear no-go zone
Truck drivers often don’t have a rear-view mirror to look through, so they have to rely heavily on their side-view mirrors. If you’re behind a truck and can’t see the driver’s face in his or her mirror, then they can’t see you.
- Don’t draft or tailgate.
- Give yourself the following distance of three seconds.
Trucks make wider turns than cars. So be aware that a truck may need to swing wide, either to the left or right to avoid sidewalks, signs and utility poles. Drivers who stay aware and give trucks room will be safe.
- Give trucks plenty of room to turn safely.
In recent times there have been several campaigns highlighting these dangers especially for our more vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.