3. Properly follow and pass large trucks with plenty of space.
Drivers of large trucks have very limited visibility and large blind areas around them, which means they might not be able to see you. Because of this, driving around large trucks can be tough, and may be even more difficult in poor weather conditions.
When driving around large trucks:
- Avoid traveling alongside or close behind a truck. When a truck is backing up, do not pass behind it. The driver may not see you or hear your horn.
- Do not pass a truck on the right when approaching an intersection. A large truck making a right turn may need to swing wide so that the trailer can clear the curb or other objects in its path. In a wide swing, the truck may turn to the left a bit before turning right or swing into the oncoming traffic lane after a turn. It is important to give large trucks and semi-trailers ample room to negotiate turns.
- Leave additional space when passing. Because of their size, large trucks create wind currents that can affect nearby vehicles. These currents can threaten your vehicle’s stability when you are close. This is an even greater driving challenge when you are riding a motorcycle, towing a trailer or other object, or traveling on slick roads.
4. Take precautions when driving at night.
Reduced visibility is one of the biggest issues when driving at night. Your view is limited to the distance illuminated by your vehicle’s headlights, and you do not have the advantage of color and contrast that you have during the daytime.
Being able to see well during the day does not necessarily mean that you will see well while driving at night. After driving four or five hours on a sunny day, it may take an hour or more for your eyes to adjust to low light at dusk or night. Some people may not adapt well to low light and should avoid driving at night. Driving at night also reduces your ability to see to the sides of your vehicle, which means extra care needs to be taken when turning or changing lanes. Regardless of how effective your headlights are, they do not adequately light off-road areas. Slow down when driving in areas with animal crossing warnings or rural areas where deer or other animals may dart into the road.
Glare and Recovery Time
While driving at night, all drivers are affected temporarily by the glare of headlights and brightly lit signs or buildings. Most people’s eyes recover from such glare within three to five seconds, but recovery times of seven seconds or longer are not uncommon. When driving at 55 MPH, you can travel nearly the length of a football field before you can fully see again. Typically, the time to recover from glare while driving at night increases with age, and people with cataracts will find their ability when driving at night is severely impaired.