(State of Colorado)


9. Sharing the road


Sharing the road means "getting along, not ahead." A courteous, alert, and knowledgeable driver will make the highways safer for all. Bicycles, motorcycles, buses, trucks, and truck tractors each have unique operating characteristics. Let's share the road safely with trucks and buses.


9.1. Large trucks and buses

Due to their size and weight, large trucks and buses present unique problems to motorists who share the highway with them. A loaded truck with good tires and properly adjusted brakes traveling at 55 m.p.h. on a clear, dry roadway requires a minimum of 290 feet to come to a complete stop.

Trucks/buses require more room than automobiles to execute turns, make lane changes, and other driving maneuvers.

Trucks/buses have blind spots which are called NOZONES. No-Zones are the areas around trucks/buses where cars either disappear into blind spots or are so close that they restrict the truck or bus driver's ability to stop or maneuver safely. Both types of No-Zones greatly increase the potential for a crash. Know the NO-ZONE.


Points to remember

BACKING UP: Do not pass or stop close to a truck/bus that is preparing to or is backing up, as the trailer will hide objects in the No-Zone.

PASSING: Maintain a constant speed when passing and reentering the lane in front of trucks or buses, since they require longer distances to slow down than cars. Do not pull in front of a truck or bus until you can see the entire front of the vehicle.

REAR BLIND SPOTS: Trucks/buses have large blind spots behind them. If you tailgate, not only do you make it impossible for the driver to see you, but you also cut off your own view of traffic.

SIDE BLIND SPOTS: Trucks/buses have much larger blind spots on both sides than cars. If the truck or bus driver needs to make an emergency maneuver or change lanes, they will not be able to see you and a collision could result.

WIDE TURNS: Because of their size trucks/buses often need to move to the left lane to make right turns. Cutting in between the truck/bus and the curb or shoulder increases the possibility of a crash.

RUNAWAY TRUCK RAMPS: Occasionally truck/buses lose their ability to brake. In order to prevent serious accidents from occurring due to out-of-control vehicles, runaway truck ramps have been built. Never park on the ramp or even in the entrance. Not only is this illegal, it is inviting disaster. You may be depriving a truck or bus driver of the chance to survive by denying him or her access to the runaway ramp. One indication of a runaway truck/bus is smoke coming from the brakes. Get out of the way and/or do not get in front of the truck/bus.

BUS RELATED ISSUES: Buses make frequent stops. Avoid being caught behind the bus by making safe lane changes. If you are passing a stopped bus use care as the bus may start to move out into your lane of traffic.


- The bigger the blind spots.

- The more room they need to maneuver.

- The longer it takes them to stop.

- The longer it takes them to accelerate.

- The longer it takes to pass them.

- The more likely you're going to be the loser in a collision.


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