There are certain events that catch truck drivers’ close attention as we 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 vehicle enters a highway close in front of or alongside our trucks. Another is when a vehicle exits in front of us. 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 vehicles entering from a ramp, a street or driveway or exiting onto one of them. Entry and exit contention can be hazardous and we 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 we work to allow other vehicles to enter and exit.
The following tips in this chapter will present some observations and advice on exits of personal vehicles. They will address safe exit maneuvers as well as other maneuvers that are especially risky, not only around big trucks but in any traffic:
When You Exit a Controlled Access Highway from the Right Lane
When You Exit the Right Lane of a Controlled Access Highway to the Right Lane of Another Controlled Access Highway
When You Exit a Controlled Access City Highway from the Left Lane
When You Change Your Mind in Mid-Exit on a Controlled Access Highway
If You Take an Emergency Crossover on a Controlled Access Highway
When You Exit an Uncontrolled Access Highway
Due to trucks’ size and performance limitations, there is always the possibility of contention with your personal vehicle when you enter or exit a highway.
When you enter or exit a highway in their vicinity, truck drivers will pay close attention and may adjust to help you.
Personal vehicle drivers occasionally make risky and/or unlawful highway exits.