There are certain events that should draw the close attention of personal vehicle and truck drivers as they travel on a highway, either on the open road (in sparse traffic, usually in rural areas) or in heavier traffic. One of these is when a truck enters a highway in their vicinity. Another is when a truck exits in front of them. The highway may be a controlled access highway (an interstate, city freeway or other major highway, typically with two or more lanes in each direction and entry and exit restricted to specific interchanges). Or it could be a minor or back highway with one lane in each direction and open entry from, and exit to surface streets and/or driveways.
Due to our trucks’ length and slowing/stopping and acceleration limitations, there is always the possibility of contention with other vehicles as we enter from a ramp, a street or driveway or exit onto one of them. Entry and exit contention can be hazardous and drivers have to be ready to avert an accident. Skid marks on major highway surfaces near ramp outlets and entrances and to a lesser extent, on minor highways near street and driveway intersections, attest to the hard braking that occasionally occurs as drivers work to allow trucks to enter and exit.
The following tips in this chapter will present some observations and advice on safe entry of trucks in various situations. They will address the use of your personal vehicle’s obvious maneuverability advantages over those of a truck and the help you may be able to give a truck driver when practical, safe and lawful to do so.
When I Enter the Right Lane of a Controlled Access Highway
When I Enter the Right Lane of a Controlled Access Highway from the Right Lane of Another Controlled Access Highway
When I Enter the Left Lane of a Controlled Access Highway
When I Enter an Uncontrolled Access Highway
Due to trucks’ size and performance limitations, there is always the possibility of contention with your vehicle when they enter or exit a highway.
When a truck enters or exits your highway in your vicinity, pay close attention and be prepared to adjust and help the driver.