Large trucks are a regular feature on Kenyan roads. For many drivers, dealing with them can seem intimidating. However, there are certain situations where extra care is needed, even if you are an experienced driver. These tips will ensure you are safe on the roads, as you navigate yourself past large trucks and trailers hence reducing the carnage on our roads. The following is what to do when encountering a large truck or trailer in the following situations:
When using a roundabout, a large truck or trailer may struggle to keep in the correct lane and can therefore infringe on a second lane. If you see such a large truck on a roundabout, then it is best not to pull alongside it or you may get squashed. Let it have enough room for safe negotiation.
Before taking left turns
A large truck or trailer may need to pull on to the right side of the road to be able to make a sharp left turn without cutting the corner. Don’t overtake the trailer until it has completed the turn, and it is on a straight road.
At low bridges
A large truck or trailer may need to pull into the middle of the road to pass under the bridge without scraping the top. Slow down and be prepared to stop at a bridge with height restriction.
Overtaking a large truck or trailer can be especially dangerous. First, it is can be difficult to see past large vehicles in order to assess how clear the road ahead is. To increase your view past, you should pull back from the large truck or trailer. Remember to look past the rear the large truck or trailer before making your move. Of course, you will need extra room in order to pass safely. Avoid overtaking large trucks or trailers at the top of a hill as you may find it picking up speed quickly as gravity kicks in.
Watch out for blind spots
Large trucks and trailers have large blind spots, which can easily hide a car. When driving past such a large truck or trailer, the golden rule is that if you can’t see the driver in the offside mirror, then they cannot see you. To counter this you when travelling on multilane roads such as super highways, you should always pass a large truck or trailer as quickly as you can. This blind spot is made worse when the vehicle is left hand drive. Most LHD trucks on our roads are from countries such as DRC and Rwanda. Often a sign on the back of the large truck or trailer, with the initials LHD, will alert you to this fact. Another blind spot is one where a car is hidden from view when travelling too closely behind a large truck or trailer. The rule here is, if you can’t see the large truck or trailer’s side mirrors, then the driver can’t see you as well.
When the roads are wet large trucks and trailers can throw up large amounts of surface water known as spray. This spray can cover a windscreen and create a moment of blindness. In order to counter this, turn your wipers on before overtaking a large truck or trailer.
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