Alberta RCMP provide tips on sharing the road with commercial vehicles

Each month Alberta RCMP put a community education focus on a different aspect of traffic safety. June’s focus is commercial vehicles. Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, bus, and commercial vehicles require extra caution from motorists handling them, as well as from other road users driving alongside them, RCMP says in a recent media release.

Increased summer traffic and travel make it important for commercial and passenger-vehicle motorists to understand how to share roads responsibly.

“Commercial-passenger vehicle collisions have added dangers due the size and weight of larger vehicles, which can often result in more damage done,” said Inspector Chris Romanchych, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services, in the release. “This summer, we want to minimize the potential for these types of collisions by ensuring Albertans are aware of how to safely share the road. Taking extra precaution around trucks and trailers can significantly reduce the risk of a serious collision, injury, or fatality.”

Commercial vehicle drivers:

  • Remember to complete trip inspections to ensure your vehicle is in proper operating condition. Always carry required inspection certificates.
  • Make sure that reflectors are free of cracks or dirt. Look for any strips that are worn or peeling and make sure they are not obscured.
  • Leave adequate following distance between you and vehicles in front of you.
  • If you are transporting a load, ensure it is properly secured.
  • Regularly check your blind spots for smaller vehicles.
  • Pull over when feeling tired – take a rest, don’t risk a life.
  • Avoid infrastructure damage by ensuring your vehicle complies with allowed weight limits.

Passenger vehicle drivers:

  • Stay far enough behind big trucks so that you can see both side mirrors on the truck. If you can’t see the truck driver, they can’t see you.
  • Increase your following distance behind larger vehicles so you have a larger viewing area and can better see oncoming traffic.
  • Oncoming commercial vehicles can create strong wind gusts, large splashes in wet conditions, or sprays of debris. Practice defensive driving and brace when they are passing.
  • Leave extra space when passing or changing lanes in front of commercial vehicles as they require more time to slow down or come to a stop.
  • Stay back when large vehicles are indicating right or left, as they require a wide turning radius.

For more traffic safety information, please follow us on Facebook @RCMPinAlberta and Twitter @RCMPAlberta.