Safely Driving Around Large & Slow Vehicles

Driving Around Large Vehicles

Drivers of passenger vehicles must share the road with many types of vehicles and
pedestrians. Here are some tips on safe driving around large and slow vehicles.

Large Vehicles

When sharing the road with trucks, buses or other large vehicles, follow these tips:

  • When following a large vehicle, stay out of its blind spots. Position your vehicle so
    the driver can see it in the side mirrors.
  • Pay close attention to turn signals, and give large vehicles plenty of room to maneuver and make turns. Large
    vehicles make wide right turns and sometimes leave an
    open space to the right just before the turn.
  • Size and weight affect a vehicle’s ability to maneuver and
    stop. Always allow extra space for large vehicles.
  • When following a truck at night, always dim your headlights. Bright lights will blind the driver of the large vehicle when they reflect off the large side mirrors.
  • When passing a truck, let the driver know you are passing by blinking your headlights, especially at night. The driver will make it easier
    for you by staying to the far side of the lane. Complete your pass as quickly as possible, and don’t stay alongside the vehicle.

Slow-Moving Vehicles

Certain slow-moving farm vehicles, construction equipment and animal-drawn vehicles may share our roadways. Use caution and prepare to slow down when approaching and passing slow-moving vehicles from the rear. An orange slow-moving vehicle emblem must be on the rear of certain slow-moving vehicles.

Closing Speeds

Normal speeds for slow-moving vehicles may range from 5-20 mph. When a vehicle
traveling at normal highway speed approaches a slow-moving vehicle from the rear,
the speed differential will dramatically shorten the time it takes to reach the slow-moving vehicle.

Turns and Passing

Slow-moving vehicles may make wide turns and may turn right or left at any time into
unmarked entrances. When approaching from the rear, stay a safe distance behind the
vehicle until it is safe to pass, then be certain the driver has seen you and is aware of
your intent to pass before you begin.

Large Vehicle Lighting

When lights are required, a flashing amber signal must be mounted as high as possible
on the rear of the vehicle. It must be visible for 500 feet in sunlight. Other devices to identify slow-moving vehicles may include reflectors, rotating or oscillating amber lights.

Lane Usage

Slower traffic must drive in the right lane. The left lane is for passing and turning. Slow moving vehicles may be wider than the lane width so it may be necessary for these vehicles to temporarily move into an adjoining lane to avoid roadside obstructions.

VIDEO: Learn About Truck Blind Spots

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