Date PostedMay 3, 2013

Tips for Driving Overtaking Heavy Vehicles

heavy vehiclesThe difficulty with heavy vehicles on the roads is that they weigh a lot, have limited maneuverability, are large and often slow especially in built up areas.

Even in country areas often car drivers become impatient with large vehicles so here is a quick guide to help you think about overtaking a heavy vehicle.

Care needs to be taken when overtaking large and long vehicles on a country road. Before you attempt to overtake ask yourself:

  • What are the risks?
  • Can I overtake safely and legally?
  • Am I near an overtaking lane?
  • How long will it take to overtake this truck?
  • Can I clearly see any oncoming traffic?

When you are behind a truck that you plan to overtake keep away from the rear of the truck as you look for the safe opportunity to overtake. This means that you have a better view of oncoming traffic and the road conditions ahead.

Road users coming the other way are also more likely to see you.

The best thing to do if you find yourself in this position is to maintain your speed and make sure that you stay in the lane that you are already traveling in.

If you are contemplating overtaking a road train remember that they can be up to 54 metres long and 2.5 metres wide. So be very careful when overtaking and ensure that:

  • You have plenty of time to overtake safely
  • If it is wet always allow more time
  • Allow for the fact that sometimes trailers sway from side to side
  • Take into account the limited maneuverability of the road train and its slow stopping time if you pull in front of it unexpectedly

Often trucks carry goods that are dangerous and you need to take extra care when overtaking these vehicles.

Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning and web strategy firm based in George St Brisbane. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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