Sunday, February 7, 2010

Signaling Commercial Vehicle Drivers

Yesterday, I was having dinner with two of my friends who are commercial vehicle drivers and we were talking about the signals that drivers use when passing. Read this and be a better driver.

Signal safe passing.

When you are being passed by a commercial vehicle, you can signal to that vehicle that it is safe to return to your lane by turning your headlights off (keeping your running lights on) for about a second and then turning them back on. The driver will often thank you for this by flashing his read running lights.

A word of warning: Don't signal until the commercial vehicle is completely past you, with sufficient room to pull in safely. Drivers will trust that, if you use this signal, you know what you're doing.

Signal that you're slowing down, fast.

If you need to slow down abruptly for some reason, turn your hazard lights on. This lets drivers behind you know that you have slowed down significantly. Remember that larger vehicles have a longer stopping distance and this extra warning might be the difference between them being able to stop in time or not. Also, if you are driving in hazardous conditions, significantly below normal speeds, you should turn your hazard lights on.

Be aware of something ahead.

If you see a commercial vehicle flashing its brights, that almost certainly means that there is something ahead and that it would probably be a good idea to slow down. This might be an accident, police running radar or slow-moving traffic. Drop the speed down a notch and be careful.

So, Tami and Nathan, how did I do? Is the above accurate? Any more wisdom that you would like to share?