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5 Tips About Trucks for Your Permit Exam

An 18 wheeler Semi-Truck - Copyright: James Steidl

Why You Will Get Truck Questions on Your Test

In 2012, we saw 3,921 fatal truck crashes on American roads. The majority of people killed are the occupants of passenger cars, not the occupants of the truck. Over half of all traffic crashes involving large trucks or buses and passenger cars are the fault of the car driver.

By 2023, 12 billion tons of goods is expected to be transported by truck annually. This means that we will see more trucks driving on the roads and must be constantly aware of the dangers when sharing the road with large vehicles.

Here are five tips about trucks and large vehicles to remember for your safety on the road and for your driver’s license test or DMV permit test.


1. Blind Spots

One-third of all car-truck crashes involve blind spots. An excellent rule of thumb for drivers sharing the road with large vehicle is, ”If you cannot see a truck driver in his or her side mirror, he or she cannot see you.”. You can read more here: No-Zones


2. Trucks Swing Wide

When any vehicle makes a turn, the rear wheels follow a shorter path than the front wheels. The longer the vehicle, the greater the difference. This means that a large vehicle may move to the left before making a right turn. Stay back and pay close attention to the vehicle’s turn signals.

Never try to pass on the right-hand side at intersections. The truck might not know that you are there and if the truck turns, you might get squeezed between the truck and the curb.

Read more here: Squeeze Play Crashes


3. Trucks Have Longer Stopping Distances

The exact stopping distances in feet are not of great importance. You must, however, understand that larger vehicles take longer to stop than a car traveling at the same speed.

Cutting into the open space in front of a truck may put you at risk if you suddenly must slow down or stop. Never cut off a truck in traffic just because you need to reach an exit or change lanes.


4. Never Tailgate

Tailgating is always dangerous, and it is especially dangerous when following large vehicles. If you follow a truck too closely, the truck will block your view ahead. You will not see what the trucker sees and may not have enough time to react if the truck suddenly swerves or brakes to avoid a hazard.


5. Do Not Underestimate the Speed of a Truck

Due to its large size, a truck or tractor-trailer often appears to be traveling slower than it actually is. Many car-truck collisions occur at intersections because the driver of the car misjudges how close the truck is or how quickly it is approaching.


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  1. Nicely done. Thank you.

    Steinbach, Novato, CA

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