Posted Date: 22, Dec 16

4 Safety Tips When You Encounter Heavy Vehicles on The Road

White Lorry

It’s the school holiday season and surely, you’ve got your family road trip all planned out. However, keep in mind that it’s still “business as usual” for heavy commercial vehicles and lorries to make their journey along the highways.

And yes, we can keep going on and on about how bad some heavy vehicle drivers are in Malaysia. However, if you do your part to be vigilant and follow these safety tips, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a stress-free road trip with your family during the Holidays.

1. Stay Away from The Heavy Vehicle’s Blind Spots

You’ve probably honk in frustration thinking, “What is this fella doing? Doesn’t he watch where he’s going?” Well, heavy vehicle drivers (like lorries) have blind spots that are different compared with a regular size vehicle.

So, when you encounter a huge lorry, try to avoid driving into the blind spots. In other words, if you can’t see the driver’s mirror, the driver can’t see you.

Lorry Blindspot
Image courtesy of the Ministry of Transportation, Ontario

2. Avoid Tailgating

Some drivers may have a habit to tailgate another vehicle - but tailgating a heavy vehicle is unwise. For starters, you won’t be able to get a good view of what’s ahead of the road if you follow the heavy vehicle too closely.

And what if the vehicle would have to make an emergency stop? You wouldn’t be able to react on time and the driver would not be able to see you since you’re in his blind spot. Here are some recommended distances to avoid situations like this.

Vehicle Speed Stopping distance (metres)
Car Lorry
60km/h 73 83
70km/h 91 05
80km/h 111 130
90km/h 133 156
100km/h 157 185

3. Anticipate The Driver’s Turns.

OK. Some of us are guilty of this. We have a tendency to make a turn alongside a heavy vehicle. As a result, we're technically denying any clearance for the drivers to make a sharp turn without damaging their precious cargo trailer and any vehicle or property in proximity. So, before you floor your accelerator pedal, look out for heavy vehicles and give them some space for them to make a turning.

Overtaking Trucks
Image courtesy of Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland

4. Avoid Overtaking Heavy Vehicles On A Curve Road Or A Hill

It’s harder to see what’s in front of us when there’s a large vehicle blocking your view – and that can be dangerous if you attempt to overtake it on a curve road or a hill. If you must, find a straight route that’ll allow you to peer through the other lane and overtake with caution.

5. Be Courteous, Be Patient, Be Cool

The most important tip of all. Try to keep your cool and not let road rage “take the wheel” if you encounter a road bully. Be patient when you insist on overtaking the vehicle and indicate if you do so. After all, a safe driver is no good if they don’t keep their cool and maintain focus.

We also previously discussed in Bahasa Malaysia: 6 Tips Semasa Memandu Berdekatan Lori


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