Maneuvering a truck on today’s roads comes with its own special set of challenges. One wrong move can have dire consequences.
Here are four bad or dangerous moves . . .
1. Right Turn Squeeze Play
The right turn squeeze play can occur when the truck driver swings left to make a right turn. Given a small amount of space, a right-turning car will pull next to the trailer and get caught in the “squeeze” between the trailer and the curb.
Solution: Stay straight as possible in making right turns. Make “square turns” in turning right or left. A square turn gives the driver visual control of the situation to the extent possible. Make turns at a slow speed — idle speed is recommended.
2. Overhead Clearance
In addition to both sides, a driver needs to always be aware of overhead clearance. There are several reasons for overhead clearance collisions, including not focusing on the task at hand, missing warning signs, or being distracted. Getting off of a “truck route” can get a driver into trouble. Sometimes drivers are assured by other people that there is enough clearance, and in reality there is not. This goes for both driving under something or backing to a dock.
Solution: There are times a driver has to stop and check the clearance. There is no other way.
“Bridging” happens when the truck goes under a bridge, but due to a rise on the other side, the trailer starts to rise enough to get caught under the bridge.
Solution: Go slow, roll the window down to listen and always be ready to stop and visually check things out.
4. Swerving for a Deer or Other Animal
Wildlife is most active during dusk, dawn, and night. Deer are most frequently hit during dusk and dawn, and at night—bears and moose .
“Do not swerve if a collision is unavoidable. Swerving to avoid an animal can often cause a more serious crash or result in loss of control behind the wheel.” AAA
Solution: As a general rule at low beam, a tractor-trailer’s headlights will illuminate about 250 feet in front of the vehicle. High beams will illuminate for approximately 350-500 feet. So to not “overdrive” your headlights. When you see yellow animal-crossing signs, reduce your speed to 45 mph at night.
- Mind your turns.
- Stop and check the overhead clearance, if necessary.
- Be mindful of “bridging.”
- Adjust your speed in areas marked or known as animal crossing areas.
Thank you for reading this.
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