SHARING THE ROAD WITH TRUCKS AND LARGE VEHICLES,
MOTOR CYCLES, BICYCLES AND PEDESTRIANS
To reduce the chance of a crash with a large tractor-trailer, the so-called “18 wheeler” motorist must be familiar with a truck’s physical capabilities and common maneuvers.
According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 71 percent of fatal crashes involving two or more vehicles – in which one is a truck – are caused by the other vehicle, usually a car.
Tractor trailers take longer to stop than a car traveling at the same speed.
The average passenger car traveling at 55 mph can stop in about 130-140 feet, less than half the length of a football field.
A fully-loaded tractor-trailer may take more than 400 feet to come to a complete stop, or one-third more than the length of a football field
The driver of a tractor-trailer must often swing out to the left as the first step in making a right turn.
When following a tractor-trailer, observe its turn signals before trying to pass.
If it appears to be starting a left turn, wait a moment to check and see which way the driver is going to turn before passing on the right
A TRUCKER’S BLIND SPOTS
Many motorists falsely assume that truckers can see the road better because they sit twice as high as the driver of a car.
While truckers do enjoy a better forward view and have bigger mirrors, they still have serious blind spot in top which a car can disappear from view.
A trucker can see up to 20 feet in front of the cab, up to 20 feet on both side of the tractor trailer, and up to 200 feet in the rear.
Motorists lingering in blind spots on the sides or at the rear of large trucks hamper the truckers’ ability to take evasive action to avoid dangerous situations, thus increasing the possibility of a crash.
An excellent rule of thumb for motorists sharing the road with a tractor-trailer is “if you can’t see the truck driver in his side mirror, he can’t see you.”
Trucks have longer stopping and accelerating distances, wider turning area, and weigh more.
On multi-lane highways tractor-trailers stay in the center lane to help the flow of local traffic on and off the highway.
Staying in the middle lane also increases a truck driver’s option if he or she has to switch lanes in order to avoid a dangerous situation or a crash.
No Zone - 18 Wheeler's Blind Spot
List of common mistakes motorists must avoid when driving around trucks:
Cutting off a truck in traffic or on the highway to reach your exit or turn
Don’t linger alongside a truck when passing
Following too close or tailgating
Never under estimate the size and speed of an approaching tractor-trailer
It is illegal to move any vehicle which exceeds the legal size, and weight limits on any highway, except with a special permit.
Width – No vehicle shall have a total outside width, including load, of more than 8 ½ feet. One exception to that rule is farm tractor. Their width may not exceed 9 feet.
Height – No vehicle shall exceed a height of 14 feet, including any load that may be carried.
Length – No single vehicle, except for fire-fighting equipment, shall exceed an overall length of 45 feet, including the front and rear bumpers.
All other combinations of vehicles, with or without a load, such as motor home pulling a boat may not exceed a total length of 65 feet.
Loads Projecting to the Sides
No train of vehicles or single vehicle shall carry a load extending beyond the line of the fenders on the left side of the vehicle nor extending more than six inches beyond the line of the fenders on the right side of the vehicle
Posting of Registered Gross Laden Weight – The Utah Tax Commission requires that every vehicle registered for 16,001 pounds or more have the weight for which it is registered displayed upon both the left and right sides of the vehicle.
The information must be in letters not less than two inches high and placed in a location that is easily seen.
Equipment – What are the equipment required for ALL motor vehicles in Utah
Tail and stop lights
License plate light
Side mark lights
Flags and lights for extending loads
Red and blue lights visible from the front
Slow-moving vehicle emblem
Sirens, whistles, and bells – only emergency vehicles
Safety chain or cables
Pollution control devices
Mud flaps or guards
Flares, reflectors, electric lights, and flags (trucks and buses)
What are the three rules for towing another vehicle?
The draw-bar or other connections between any towed vehicles may not exceed 15 feet in length from one vehicle to the other.
When a connection consists of a chain, rope, or cable, there shall be a red flag or other signal attached to the connecting device. The flag shall be no smaller than 12 inches square (one foot square)
No person shall operate a train of vehicles when any trailer or other vehicle being towed whips or swerves dangerously or unreasonably from side to side
Placement of Warning Devices – Warning devices must be displayed any time your vehicle is at least 80 inches wide or 30 feet long, and is disabled or stopped along the road for more than ten minutes.
What are the two steps for placing warning devices in emergency situations?
Immediately place a flare, lighted fuse, electric lantern, or emergency reflector to the side of the vehicle – in the direction of the nearest oncoming traffic.
Next, place flares, electric lights, or reflectors 100 feet to the front and rear of the vehicle. Also place a warning device on the traffic side of, and not less than 10 feet from, the rear of your vehicle
On a one-way street, the rear flag should be placed 200 feet to the rear.
Warning devices need not be displayed if there is sufficient light to reveal persons or vehicles from 1,000 feet
If your vehicle breaks down within 500 feet of a curve, hilltop, or something else that obstructs a clear view, the warning device in that direction shall be placed far enough away to give ample warning to approaching motorists.
The warning device may not be placed more than 500 feet away from the vehicle nor closer than 100 feet to the vehicle.
All warning devices must be placed in the center of the lane in which your vehicle is stopped. If your vehicle is entirely off the road, place the devices on the shoulder of the road as close as possible to the road surface.
What are the safe ways to use Flares and Fusees?
Keeping the lighted end well away from your face and eyes. Fusees, especially, can cause bad burns
Not attaching any flare or fuse to your vehicle. Not only is this a very dangerous action, but it is also illegal
Keeping the burning flares or fusees away from fuel leakages and spills
This video shows you how to effectively light a road flare in order to
keep you and your family safe during road side emergencies
What must Convoys, Caravans, and Motorcades do?
Answer: If you are part of a convoy, caravan, or motorcade, you must allow sufficient space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you for an overtaking vehicle to pass you and safely occupy that space.
TIRE FIRES – What are the things you can do to decrease the chance of tire fire
Check tires and brakes frequently for unusual heat
Never drive for an extended period of time on a soft or flat tire or with a brake that is dragging. These situations can result in heat buildup and cause a tire fire.
Never ignore a tire that is hot. Either stay with the vehicle until the tire is cool or change it.
Remember to always release your parking brake before moving the vehicle
Remain alert for potential problems from:
Brakes that are dragging or overheated
Leaking oil seals that may splash oil on a hot tire
Dual tires that are partially deflated. When these conditions exist, your odds for a fire are very high.
What actions should you take if a tire fire occurs?
A large supply of water is probably the best remedy for a tire fire. If possible, get to a fire station or assistance
Fire extinguishers are usually not very effective for this type of fire. Shoveling dirt on the tire can sometimes retard the fire enough for you to get the tire off
If you cannot get the tire off, try driving until the tire burns off the rim or until you reach a good source of water. This alternative is certainly better than just waiting. If you just sit and wait, your vehicle will probably burn up
As a last resort, drop your trailer by doing that, you will at least save one of the units.
PT Cruiser Engine on Fire - Tire Explodes
What are general tips for dealing with vehicle fires?
Do not waste the contents of your fire extinguisher. The contents are limited, so take careful aim and make every burst count
Fight fires with the wind at your back. If you are using an extinguisher, your efforts will be more effective and you will avoid having poisonous or caustic gases blown into your face.
Be familiar with different types of fires. For example, fighting a gasoline or oil fire with water will only spread the fire.
Clearances – List three necessary precautions you must take when driving a larger vehicles as regards to height, width, and length of vehicles
Knowing the dimensions of your vehicle. Squeezing through a tight place is risky. In those instances in which your clearance is less than six inches, be safe and slow down. Hazards such as rough roads might cause you to bounce into a low ceiling or swerve into a close wall
Being aware that some bridges and tunnels are not made for a car and a truck to pass through at the same time. If you have any doubts, let the other vehicle go through first.
Keeping an eye out for fire escapes, low hanging trees limbs, and filing station canopies.
What are the things that can happen to your brake in freezing weather?
They may be completely ineffective for several hundred feet, then suddenly grab as the friction dries out the brakes.
All moving parts can freeze solid resulting in the complete loss of brakes
The brakes may not release once they are applied
How do you prevent brake problem from occurring in freezing weather?
Answer: To help prevent problems from occurring, lightly touch your
What are safety tips for backing a large vehicle?
When backing, use a guide if possible
Even with a guide, you should get out of your vehicle and look the area over before you begin to back.
Never back an RV or any large vehicle into traffic
What does SEE means in reference to Motorcyclist?
SEE is a simple system used to heighten awareness of potential problems while on the roadway.
S – stands for Search for factor in the area
E – stands for Evaluate the potential risks and options
E – stands for Execute with control and precision
What does sharing the road demands from all users?
Attitude plays an important part in creating a safe highway environment
Sharing the roadway requires cooperation from both motorist and motorcyclist
Sharing the road requires common sense, courtesy, obeying the law
What is the mean by which motorcycle can be made visible in traffic?
Answer: Turning on the headlights during the daytime will make a motorcycle more visible in traffic
Motorcycles are hard to see and move quicker
Where do most motorcycle accidents take place? Intersections
How much room should you give a motorcycle
When passing him - full lane
When following him - 4 to 5 seconds
Motorcycle can stop and accelerate faster than cars
Why do motorcycle change lane position so much in traffic? They are smaller
In the event of an accident, the car driver is usually at fault for the accident
The motorcycle rider must be sure he is visible to the car
Bicycle riders have the same right and responsibilities as a car driver does
They must obey the same laws as the car driver
A bike can legally move to the left to avoid problem
A bike is hard to see because of its size
What could be hazardous for a bike? Snow, rain, ice and sand
Bicyclist must signal their intentions
What are the five (5) tips for safety given in the Utah Driver Handbook?
Obey signs and signals
Ride against traffic
Use hand signals
Ride in straight line
What is the distance required by law for motorist when passing a bicyclist
Answer: three (3) feet
Children on bicycles can create some special problems because?
They cannot see things out of the corner of their eyes as adult can
They have trouble judging the speed and distance of oncoming cars
They lack sense of danger
Their actions are unpredictable
In sharing the road with bicyclists, motorist should take the following precautions:
Do not drive in a bicycle lane except when making a turn
When changing lanes or making turns, check for bicyclists in your blind spot
You must yield to bicycles in a bicycle lane or on a sidewalk prior to turning across the lane or sidewalk
At intersections, you must yield to bicycle riders on the road, the same as for other types of vehicles
Do not crowd bicyclists. When the lane is too narrow to pass a cyclist safely, wait until the next lane is clear and give the bicycle all the rights of any other slow moving vehicle
Pass a bicycle in the same manner you would a car.
Dim your headlights within 500 feet when approaching or overtaking bicyclist at night.
If parked at a curb, do not open a door on the traffic side of your vehicle without looking for other vehicles, including bicycles
Do not honk or yell at a bicyclist except in an emergency. The loud noise could startle the bicycle rider and cause him/her to fall off the bike.
Be especially careful around children riding bicycles
Be aware that riders cannot always hear approaching vehicles. Passing closely and rapidly can startle bicycle riders
Over 39,000 bicyclists are killed or injured in the United States every year. Bicyclists have the same right on the road as cars. Be cautious and courteous when you approach someone on a bicycle.
Share The Road with Bicycles
Pedestrians have the right of way when they are in a marked or unmarked crosswalk or intersections
You must yield to any person using a white cane
Every intersection has a crosswalk
A person carrying a white cane is legally blind
60% of pedestrian fatalities occur between 6 pm and 6 am
5% of pedestrians struck at 20 mph will die, and 40% struck at 30 mph will die.
What problems do senior citizens have as pedestrians in traffic, list 3