The nation’s highways have all types of drivers, from commuters heading to and from work to road-trippers out on the vacation of a lifetime. Truckers are among the millions of drivers hitting the road daily, transporting goods in their massive trailers to keep the economy humming. Still, there are a lot of things drivers do that are annoying to truckers.
But don’t worry! With some awareness and minor changes to your behavior, you can be your nearby trucker’s new best friend. Let’s take a closer look!
Do Truck Drivers Get Annoyed By Other Vehicles On the Interstate?
As anyone who’s driven on the interstate knows, other drivers can be one of the most unpleasant parts of the trip. This is the case whether you’re driving a motorcycle, regular car, or giant 18-wheeler. Unfortunately, truckers deal with a different level of annoyance for several reasons.
First, while many drivers are taking a vacation or heading to or from work, truckers are at work while fighting traffic and bad drivers. Therefore, shoddy driving by other vehicles makes their workday even more challenging.
In addition, semi trucks take much longer to accelerate, slow down, and maneuver. This means safely avoiding bad drivers or other problematic issues is significantly more complex than in smaller vehicles.
What Makes Truckers Annoyed By Other Vehicles on the Interstate?
So what exactly are drivers doing that makes their trucking companions on the road see red? Here are some of the most common behaviors, ranging from the obvious to the potentially unexpected.
Passing On the Right
As all drivers should know, you should traditionally pass on the left of the vehicle you’re overtaking. As some of the slowest vehicles on the road, trucks traditionally stick to the right lane unless there’s a reason to leave. If you see a truck in another lane, chances are they may be passing another vehicle or avoiding something.
By passing on the right, you’re making it more challenging for them to return to their typical lane, which tends to slow traffic behind them. This creates a domino effect of slowdowns and delays. Additionally, trucks have far worse visibility and more significant blind spots on their right side. This can make it particularly dangerous to pass a truck on the right.
Swerving Ahead at a Stop Light
We get it; it can be frustrating to be behind a large truck driving slower than you’d like. Still, swerving ahead at a stop light to get around them is annoying to truckers and dangerous to you and other drivers.
Truckers are doing their best to navigate sometimes-tight roads as fast as they safely can, and impatient vehicles swerving around them creates uncertainty and risk of accidents. So wait your turn at the light to avoid irritating nearby truck drivers and endangering you and others.
We mentioned the extra difficulty large trucks could have maneuvering safely, which also goes for last-minute merging. By merging at the last second, you may force truckers to slam on their brakes, putting them and the vehicles behind them at risk. With this in mind, you should try to complete your merge with plenty of time and notice vehicles around you when traveling on the road with trucks.
Tailgating is annoying to any vehicle, though especially to truckers. They generally have trouble seeing the area immediately behind their rig. This blind spot can extend 20-30 feet. Tailgating puts truckers on edge. Drivers will likely rear-end them if they need to brake quickly due to the time required to stop.
Tailgating is also rude! Truckers usually stick to the slow lanes, allowing any impatient drivers to go around. Take advantage of this option rather than aggressively following.
In areas where the highway will not allow you to pass, drivers should give truckers a bit of grace. They’re doing their best to drive as safely and quickly as possible for a vehicle of their size, even if it may not be as fast as you’d like.
Staying On Their Side Without Passing
Big trucks’ blind spots extend up to 20 feet in front and a significant difference diagonally backward in each direction from the driver’s seat. Staying on a trucker’s side without passing or falling behind means they’ll need to be constantly checking your location and worrying if you’ve potentially slipped out of view.
This will make any lane changes or even acceleration or deceleration decisions more fraught than necessary. In the meantime, drivers risk severe injury or death in an accident if they slip out of view and a trucker hits them unintentionally.
Stay safe while on the road by using these 5 Tips for Driving Your RV Through the Mountains
How Do You Respect Truck Drivers On the Road?
Showing respect and consideration for the truckers who bring us many things we buy isn’t challenging. With these simple tips, you’ll help make your nearest trucker’s day a little bit better.
Stay Where They Can See You
While truckers do their best to check their blind spots before changing lanes or making other changes to their travel speed, it’s vital to help them by staying where they can see you. Avoid traveling in these blind spots for significant periods, and ensure the truck isn’t changing lanes before crossing through them. If you can’t see their mirrors, chances are they can’t see you.
Give Them Room to Make Turns
A large truck will necessarily have a broad turn radius. This is especially true for right turns, which require extra space. If you see a truck turning across your path, double-check that you’re behind the stop line so they can squeeze through. Many turns can be tricky for truckers even if everyone follows the rules. Doing your part to smooth their turning experience goes a long way.
Use Your Turn Signals
If you’re not using your turn signals, chances are you’re annoying and disrespecting many more people than truckers. Still, large vehicles like trucks need as much notice as possible from other cars to safely adjust their speed or change lanes. With a flick of your wrist, you can help out everyone on the road. Show your intentions with ample time to plan.
Flash Your Headlights to Indicate Its Safe to Merge When They’re Passing You
Sometimes, you can do more than stay out of truckers’ way; you can help, too! If a truck passes you, it’s courteous to flash your lights when they’ve fully cleared your vehicle. This signals that they can safely return to the lane in front of you. It may seem obvious, but it can be challenging for truckers to tell precisely when they can merge. This small gesture can remove a lot of stress.
Help Truckers Stay Safe on the Roads
Keeping our roads safe is everyone’s responsibility, from the pedestrian crossing the street to the truck driver navigating a massive tractor-trailer down the interstate. Regular drivers play a crucial role in helping truckers stay safe on the roads, keeping themselves and others safe. Please keep these issues and tips in mind, and you’ll be doing a significant favor to every trucker you encounter.
Have you exhibited any of these driving behaviors around a trucker?
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