Australia’s number one truck insurer, National Truck Insurance, has urged all road users to take extra precautions this Easter.
NTI Chief Executive Officer Tony Clark especially encouraged professional drivers to show extra care and responsibility when sharing the roads with holiday-makers, who may not have the same experience or familiarity with regional roads and national highways.
“It’s common practice for holiday-makers to load up the car on Easter Thursday, after a full day of work, and drive for long periods on roads they aren’t necessarily familiar with,” Mr Clark said.
“It’s an opportunity for the trucking industry to step up and lead the way; share the road, demonstrate patience and courtesy, and drive to the conditions.
“It’s important to remember that many roads and highways – especially on the eastern seaboard – may still be damaged or unsafe due to the recent weather events.”
Mr Clark also encouraged motorists to consider the complexities of operating a truck.
“Truck drivers play a vital role in ensuring that stores are stocked with hot cross buns and Easter eggs over the holidays. So if your family is preparing for a road trip this Easter remember that, while you’re on holidays, you’ll be sharing the roads with trucks and drivers who are still at work.”
“People forget about the sheer size of trucks – they can’t take evasive action as quickly, and need more room to manoeuvre and turn corners than cars do. And just as a car driver has a blind spot, so does a truck driver, but in this case it means they might not see your vehicle,” he said.
National Truck Insurance recommends motorists keep in mind four tips when sharing the road with trucks this Easter.
“They are simple, common sense, points of consideration,” says Mr Clark, “but they play a huge part in making sure everyone reaches their destination safely.”
- Don’t cut in: Trucks are heavier than cars and need more space when stopping. For example, a truck moving at 100km/hr needs an extra 30m to come to a stop compared to a car travelling at the same speed. It’s also important for all drivers to a keep a safe travelling distance, for the same reason.
- Give trucks room to turn: Some trucks need extra room at corners, intersections and roundabouts. Trucks over 7.5m must carry a sign saying “Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicle”. This means the truck can legally use two lanes to make their turn, and may need to turn left across your path to turn left.
- Be aware of blind spots: Remember – if you can’t see the driver’s mirrors, the driver can’t see you. This is especially relevant during the holidays when cars are often overloaded.
- Overtake with care: It takes about 25sec to overtake a prime mover on the open road. That’s a long time if you’re on the wrong side of the road – and even longer if the truck is a B-Double or B-Triple. Make sure you have the time and clear visibility.