Space to merge. Enter the freeway at or near the speed of traffic. Do not stop before merging with freeway traffic unless absolutely necessary. Freeway traffic has the right of way. Stay with the traffic flow.
To keep a safe following distance you need a four-second gap whenever you change lanes, enter a freeway from an entrance lane, or merge with another road.
If you need to cross several lanes, take them one at a time. Filter through traffic slowly. If you stop to wait until all lanes are clear, you will tie up traffic and may cause an accident.
Large Trucks and RVs. To reduce the chance of an accident with a large truck or RV, motorists must be familiar with a big rig's physical capabilities and how they maneuver.
A large truck traveling at the speed of 55 mph can take almost 800 feet to stop. Never pull in front of a large truck and suddenly slow down or stop.
For all turning vehicles, the rear wheels follow a shorter path than the front wheels. The longer the vehicle's wheelbase, the greater the difference. This is why big rig drivers must often swing wide to complete a right turn.
Truckers have serious blind spots. It's very dangerous for other drivers to stay within these spots. Generally speaking, if you can't see the truck driver in his or her side mirror, he or she can't see you.
Here are some of the most common mistakes drivers must avoid when driving around large trucks:
• Cutting off a truck in traffic or on the highway to reach your exit or turn. Take a moment to slow down and turn or exit behind a truck – not ahead it.
• Don't linger alongside a truck when passing. You might be in the blind zone and the trucker can't see you. Always pass a large truck on the left side and after you pass the truck, move ahead of it.
• Following too closely or tailgating. When you follow behind a truck the trucker cannot see you. Tailgating a truck, or any vehicle, is dangerous because you take away your own cushion of safety.
• Never underestimate the size and speed of an approaching tractor-trailer. A large tractor-trailer often appears to be traveling at a slower speed because of its large size. Many accidents take place at intersections because driver did not realize how close the truck was or how quickly it was traveling.