My recent road trip as an honorary trucker was quite an eye-opener. I have a new appreciation for truck drivers! It is not an easy job just sitting and driving. It involves long hours, sore bodies, missing family, is nerve-wracking and frustrating at times.
So I feel compelled to share a few tips to other drivers sharing the road with these intrepid men and women based on my observations as well as thoughts from my brother. This pertains to all trucks but especially those hauling oversized loads.
1) Give them space! – It takes a lot of room to turn a corner, give them room… and be patient! It only takes a few seconds out of your time but can help a truck driver feel less stress.
2) Do not travel directly next to trucks! – They have blind spots for one thing, but even if not it can be hard to tell in the mirrors exactly where a vehicle is in the next lane. So either increase your speed to pass or stay behind.
3) Do not pass on the right! – They need to change lanes when they need to change lanes! See above.
4) Do not follow too close! – Again this has to do with the fact that often truck drivers cannot see what is directly behind them.
5) Merging – when merging onto a highway and there is a truck in that far right slow lane, either slow down and wait, or if it’s not too close speed up and get ahead of it. Do not race! Do not expect the driver to change lanes and let you on. If he can he will, but many times it’s just not possible. Be patient.
The main lesson is about being patient! After all, these are not only the people who haul supplies and equipment to build your homes, etc. but also the folks who transport all the goods you buy whether at your local grocery store or from amazon.com. Show a little love!
One last thought… offer a wave, smile, and make someone happy!