Safe driving

Road safety is our priority. We care not only about the safety of our drivers but also to ensure the safety of other road users. That’s why our experts in safe driving are happy to share their knowledge and experience. 

Everyone wants to be the first – on the road also

Being the first, ahead of everyone – this is our goal in many areas of life, but how not easy to achieve. Likewise, if not worse, is on the way. Overtaking is the most difficult maneuver, especially overtaking a truck on a two-way road. Today, about overtaking trucks.

Rule no. 1. See as much as possible

The mistake many drivers make is driving too close to the back of the truck. They can see its registration number perfectly then, but they are not able to see what is going on in front. Then the dangerous lean out from behind the bumper begins. In addition, such a car during the maneuver has the same speed as the overtaken – therefore the maneuver takes a very long time, and the distance traveled on the road is significantly longer.

My advice: keep enough distance behind the truck to give you a good field of view to the front, get faster before overtaking and overtake. Do it dynamically, in the right low gear, to drive past the truck as short as possible, especially if you are overtaking one on the three-lane road on the right. 

Rule no. 2. How do you know it’s one vehicle

Sometimes I observe on the road that the overtaking vehicle does not see other vehicles in front of the overtaken truck. He is overtaking, and here is a surprise and you have to run away from those drivers driving in the opposite direction, and there is nowhere to go because there is not enough space between the overtaken cars. What remains is desperate braking and hiding behind the back, or hoping that the tanker driver will help and run to an unpaved roadside or into a ditch, he desperately squeezes between. For us, it is an obvious disaster, while the passenger car driver calmly continues on. 

Rule no. 3. Don’t do it right

Because the visibility in the right mirrors is always much worse. A small passenger car can drive for a long time on the right side of the truck, practically invisible in the blind spot. When a truck driver decides to take the rightmost lane, it will turn out to be an unpleasant surprise for both sides. Tip: if you have to do it on the right, do it quickly and dynamically. The overtaking maneuver should be as short as possible. 

Rule no. 4. Beware of “shower”

The dangers in the rain when overtaking a truck are much greater than in the case of a passenger car. Each of the drivers on their own mask felt the unpleasant mist dragging the truck more than once. In such conditions, the visibility of the leading vehicle is almost zero and it practically carries out the overtaking maneuver in the first blind phase. 

Only when it is at the height of about half of the train does it begin to see the road and then another unpleasant surprise may appear – a car emerging from the underground. Another threat is the water jets that gush like fountains from under the wheels of a truck, the deeper the ruts become. My advice: don’t overtake, and if you have to, wait for full visibility. Also, the truck driver from behind such a water curtain does not always see that he is being overtaken. 

Rule no. 5. Do not force, do not provoke

We, truck drivers, ie much slower cars, often observe a phenomenon that is called the revenge of a small mobile (in the parlance of drivers: passenger car). In order to repay us for the fact that he had to follow us for so long and slowly, not being able to overtake us, when he would overtake us – he gives us a hard time on the brakes. 

Truck drivers won’t even think of what happens to the 40-ton set when braking hard. And such a set in a fraction of a second can fold like a pocket knife, overturn or ram the provocateur. My advice – calculate, don’t provoke.  

To sum up: there is no need to overtake; the road always straightens after a while, the traffic decreases and you can overtake without unnecessary risk. 

A few words about seat belts and whether they need to be fastened

One of the most valuable inventions in the field of passive safety is seat belts. This invention, over fifty years old, saved the lives of probably millions of people. The chances of surviving an accident thanks to wearing seat belts, especially in the event of a rollover or a front impact – increase many times. 

Here is some basic information on how to use the driver’s belt. In order to fulfill its role during a collision, the belt must be technically efficient, not twisted, properly tightened. The belt straps should lie as close to the body as possible. If we are wearing a thick jacket, coat, or blazer, we should unbutton them and bring the belts as close as possible to the hips and chest.

The lap section of the belt should fit as low as possible over the hips when lying on the stomach, in the event of a collision it may crush the organs inside the abdominal cavity. The upper attachment point should be adjusted according to your height. For the seat belt to work well, the person wearing it should have a suitable sitting position in the chair. Too much deflection of the backrest and a reclining position may cause diving, slipping out of the belt, and severe injuries to the limbs, pelvis, and spine. 

The front seat belts are fitted with pyrotechnic pre-tensioners to tighten the straps against the body in the first phase of a collision. When the force acts most intensively on the person protected by the belts, in a modern belt, a tension regulator begins to act, which slightly lengthens the belt, limiting its pressure on the chest and thus reducing the risk of damage to the cervical spine.

In this phase of the impact, a gas cushion should come to the belt, into which the head and chest of the protected person softly collapse. 

Another article on this blog that may interest you:

Driving: Efficient Techniques