Passing Me on the Right

Last Edited: July 21, 2019 // by TruckerScape, Inc.

When you are in the right lane next to mine on the open highway (typically on interstates or major highways with two or more lanes in each direction, in sparse traffic, usually in rural areas) or in traffic, I may be passing you or you may be passing me.  While passing on the left is the safer option, many drivers pull up on my right side, either to pass or to prepare to exit the highway.  Some truck trailers have a sign on the tail encouraging passing on the left and some tractors have a “You are in my blind spot” sign on their right sides.   In spite of these warnings, personal vehicle drivers generally don’t seem to care that they are less easily visible on my right side, and pass on the right if they see an opening to forge ahead.  In fact many seem to prefer passing on the right even if they have an opening on the left.

So I expect to see passing on the right if I’m in a left lane.  But I’m hoping that drivers pull on through the risk zones on that side briskly, don’t cut over to their left too closely in front of my truck, and continue to increase their distance in front of my truck (well beyond the lead threshold).  See the Risk Zone:  Close in Front of My Truck and in the Right Lane Next to Mine and the Risk Zone:  Close and Directly in Front of My Truck tips.

Pulling up on my right side to an exit ramp is common even though the exit could be accomplished by hanging back in the right lane until my trailer passes the ramp entrance.  A few personal vehicle drivers settle on my right for several miles before finally exiting.  I sometimes have trouble getting their immediate attention with my turn signal when preparing to move into the right lane for my own exit.  This is one reason I often move into the right lane well before my exit even though this gets my truck into the churn (congestion and maneuvering) of other vehicles exiting and entering the highway.

Takeaways

When you have a choice, passing a truck on the left is safer than passing on the right.

When you do pass a truck on the right, advance briskly through the risk zones, including those in front of the truck.

As you approach an exit ramp in the right lane, consider staying behind a truck traveling in the lane to your left instead of pulling alongside it.

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