The number of large commercial vehicles - such as tractor trailers - on our roads has increased dramatically during the past few years. One of the best things you can do to stay safe on the highway is to learn as much as you can about how these vehicles operate. Here are some tips from Transport Canada on how to share the road safely with commercial vehicles:
While drivers of commercial vehicles enjoy a better forward view and have larger side mirrors than most passenger-vehicle drivers, they also have more and larger blind spots.
Avoid lingering in the blind spots of commercial vehicles; if you can't see the driver in their side mirror, then the driver probably can't see you.
Trucks and buses need more time and distance than cars do to manoeuvre and stop.
When driving in front of a large commercial vehicle, signal your intentions well in advance so that the driver behind has enough time to react properly.
Truck wheels create a lot of spray in rain, slush and snow.
Turn on your windshield wipers before passing commercial vehicles - you need to see clearly at all times.
Weather conditions and even the time of day can also affect visibility - assuming that other drivers on the road can see you can be dangerous.
Signal well in advance, avoid braking abruptly and leave lots of room for passing.
Commercial vehicles need a lot of space, so watch their turn signals and give them room when they manoeuvre.
Never squeeze between a turning truck and the side of the road; large commercial vehicles must sometimes swing wide to make turns, and your car might be crushed as the truck turns.
In addition to encouraging Canadians to learn safer driving habits, Transport Canada, along with the provinces and territories, is funding improvements to those parts of our national highway system that need immediate attention because of growing traffic and increased trade. These improvements, delivered through the $600 million dollar Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP), will result in a safer and more efficient highway system for all Canadians.
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