Holding the door open for the person behind you or not cutting in line at a store checkout are common courtesies that people extend to one another in public places. Likewise, the trucking industry has its own set of unwritten rules that commercial or owner operator truck drivers extend to one another on the road. Many of these courtesies are more than simple politeness, they make a lot of sense from a safety point of view. Here are four etiquette rules for passing:
Leave the Other Trucker an out When Passing
If you see that a truck in front of you will need to move left to avoid slow traffic in front of him or traffic merging into his lane from an on-ramp, don’t block him off when you pass. Avoid passing him until he is in the clear, or pass two lanes to his left. The same applies when you see that a commercial or owner operator truck in front of you will need to merge left because of road construction, an obstruction, or a police car issuing a citation to a motorist.
Avoid Using the Passing Lane If You Aren’t Passing
If the commercial or owner operator truck in front is blocking your view, increase your following distance or pass the truck. Avoid forming a truck blockade (which obstructs traffic flow).
Pass Other Commercial or Owner Operator Trucks Quickly
If you are carrying a heavy load, don’t attempt to pass on a steep uphill grade. It will likely take too long to complete your pass and will block the traffic behind you. Carefully choose where to start your pass.
Blink Your Headlights to Signal a Passing Truck It’s OK to Move Back Over in Front of You
Turn your headlights off for a second or two then back on again at night, or on for a second or two then back off during the day. Never use your high beams for this because it will blind the vehicle in front.
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