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Road Sharing with Heavy Vehicles

January 21, 2019

ROAD SHARING WITH HEAVY VEHICLES

Braking bad habits this summer

by Rod Hannifey

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As an interstate truck driver, my regular run is a round trip from Dubbo to Melbourne, back through to Brisbane and home to Dubbo. I normally leave home on Sunday afternoon and return the following Saturday, driving around 4,000 km per week. I drive a 26 m long K200 Kenworth b-double with tautliner trailers and carry dog food, general cargo and chemicals, both normal and bulk dangerous goods.

Far too often, truck drivers are blamed for any crash, yet statistics show that fatal crashes between a car and a truck are well over 80% of the fault of the car driver. Many years ago, I did a survey amongst truck drivers asking what we need to educate car drivers about, to safely share the road with trucks. Those replies lead to the “Truckies Top Tips (for sharing the road)”.

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  1. Please don’t cut in front of trucks, allow us safe road space. Simple physics says we need more room to stop.

  2. The “Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle” sign is road law, longer trucks will need much more room when turning.

  3. When being overtaken by a truck, please do not increase speed, as this will only increase the distance needed.

  4. Larger trucks can weigh 50 times that of your car, please give us room and try and understand our needs.

  5. Road courtesy and a bit of patience could save your life. A friendly wave is better than a shaken fist.

  6. Truckies make mistakes too, but if you respect the size and weight of trucks, you will improve safety for all.

  7. Trucks use all the lane width, don’t hog the centre line, give us space in multi-lane roads and on the highway.

  8. Dip high beam early when behind the trucks fixed mirrors. “Fog” lights create glare when it’s raining, so only use in fog.

  9. Dip high beam before crests or curves, do not blind, then dip. Powerful lights create powerful responsibility.

  10. Caravans, please maintain speed and road position, do not move over nor slow before a truck pulls out to pass. We support uhf 18.

  11. Always overtake safely, ensure that you’re not too close behind, have enough road space before you overtake, pass safely and sensibly, leave a safe space when you pull in and don’t pass and then slow down in front of a truck.

  12. “Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle” signs apply at roundabouts. Longer trucks may need both lanes.

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