The most important thing is not to panic, and avoid reckless driving mistakes at all costs
26 November 2017| Last updated on 30 January 2018
Driving near a big truck on a busy highway in Dubai can make any driver nervous. Just the sheer size and massive dimensions of these big machines make it tough for motorists to confidently drive around them.
Even the most experienced of drivers can occasionally find it tough to maneuver their vehicles smoothly around a big truck. When it comes to young drivers in Dubai that have recently started driving, an approaching truck can cause panic and increase the chances of a dangerous driving mistake.
These vehicles are not only mammoth in size, but they are also loaded with enormous weight. Additionally, these big trucks require a longer stopping distance and need extra space while making turns. Motorists must consider all of these factors proactively and make sure that they exercise extreme caution when approaching a big truck.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is to avoid reckless driving mistakes at all costs that can prove to be extremely dangerous while driving near the big trucks and heavy commercial vehicles.
Dubai Police releases a report on traffic accidents involving big trucks
According to a recent report by Dubai Police, 62 accidents involving big trucks have been recorded during 2017. In these accidents, 82 people were left injured while 12 fatalities were recorded.
Unfortunately, it is a bitter reality that accidents involving big trucks can most often prove to have deadly consequences.
While traffic authorities in Dubai have started a campaign to educate truck drivers about safe driving practices, it is important for motorists to know how to avoid dangerous road situations while driving near big trucks.
Here is what you need to know and follow while driving near big trucks in Dubai...
Beware of a wide turn by a big truck
While making a turn in a specific direction, a truck driver usually first swings the truck towards the opposite direction. Truck drivers do it to create the required angle for making a wide turn in a specific direction comfortably. For example, if the truck has to turn right, it will first swing left and then come back in the right lane quickly to complete a wide turn.
Motorists should avoid overtaking a truck when it is making a turn because while turning, the blind spots for a truck driver increase on both sides to an extent that the driver cannot locate any vehicle trying to overtake it. In order to avoid a dangerous collision with a truck, motorists must make sure that they don’t find their vehicle next to a truck when it is completing a wide turn.
Overtaking a big truck or heavy commercial vehicle
Overtaking from the right side is a traffic offence for which motorists can be fined AED 600 and six black points can be issued against the driver’s license. It is considered a dangerous traffic offence as it has a potential to cause a serious accident. However, if a heavy vehicle is being overtaken from the right side, it can even have fatal consequences as according to the data revealed by Dubai Police, accidents involving big trucks have a high risk of serious injuries and fatalities.
The primary reason for this is that big trucks have massive blind spots on either sides. The blind spots on the right side are particularly bigger, which makes it difficult for the truck driver to locate a vehicle approaching from the right side. The blind spots on the left side are comparatively smaller, which is why it is always a safe practice to pass a big truck from the left side. Additionally, you need to maintain a steady speed while passing by the truck and avoid stopping or braking unnecessarily.
Trucks require a longer stopping distance
You must always be alert to the fact that trucks require a longer stopping distance because of their sheer size and enormous weight that they carry on average. It is critical to leave extra space when you are driving ahead of a big truck to avoid a backend collision. However, if the conditions are not ideal and you are not able to manage a fair distance between your vehicle and the truck behind, you should avoid sudden braking and continue driving at a steady speed until you find it easy to maintain a safe distance from the truck.
Stopping distance is fundamentally a measure of braking distance, reaction time and perception time. According to a research, a normal passenger vehicle carrying 3,000-4,000 pounds of weight will require a stopping distance of 316 feet at the speed of 65mph. In comparison, a truck on average carries 80,000 pounds and with this weight, it would require 525 feet to stop when travelling at 65mph. This is something that motorists should consider seriously and allow enough distance between their vehicles and the big trucks.
Tyre blowouts can be common with big trucks
As mentioned earlier, heavy commercial vehicles and big trucks can carry enormous weight, which makes them susceptible to a sudden tyre blowout. Tyres of a big truck experience extreme levels of stress and if these tyres are not regularly maintained as per tyre safety protocols, the danger of a tyre blowout increases even more.
Motorists must, therefore, stay a yard farther away from a truck so that, even if a blowout occurs, motorists don’t find their vehicle in its close proximity. Other than the damage caused by rubber particles blowing out in such a situation, your vehicle can also be hit by the swerving truck which can have fatal consequences.
Remain more watchful in windy conditions
A strong wind can make it extremely difficult for a truck driver to maneuver the vehicle smoothly. A fully loaded truck can have increased height in order to accommodate the extra luggage which can consequently increase its air drag coefficient and surface area exposed to crosswinds.
Crosswinds can push a big truck sideways with relative ease and that can result in sudden swerving and swirling of the truck. Motorists need to make sure that they don’t find their vehicle next to a big swerving truck in windy conditions.
The bottom-line is...
It is a fact that there are good truck drivers who make their best effort to avoid creating problematic situations for motorists, but some careless truck drivers are also out on the road, who either because of their lack of experience or reckless driving behavior can make dangerous driving mistakes. Therefore, it is important for motorists to be prepared for every situation and make a conscious effort to follow safety tips while driving near big trucks.
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