Drivers Fact Sheets

How To Deal With Large Vehicles

Larger vehicles are a regular feature on UK roads as the weight limits have increased. For many drivers, dealing with them can often seem quite intimidating. For all drivers there are certain situations where extra care is needed.

Roundabouts

When using a roundabout a long vehicle may struggle to keep in the correct lane and can therefore infringe on a second lane. If you see such a vehicle on a roundabout then it is best not to pull alongside it or you may get squashed.

Left Turns

A long vehicle 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 vehicle until it has completed the turn.

Low Bridges

A large vehicle 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

Overtaking a large vehicle can be especially dangerous. Firstly is can be difficult to see past large vehicle in order to assess how clear the road ahead is. To increase you view past you should pull back from the vehicle and remember to look past both the near and offside of the vehicle before making your move. Of course you will need extra room in order to pass the vehicle safely.

Avoid overtaking a large vehicle at the top of a hill as you may find the vehicle picking up speed quickly as gravity kicks in.

Blind Spots

Large vehicles have large blind spots, which can easily hide a car. When driving past such a vehicle the golden rule is if you can’t see the driver in the offside mirror then they cannot see you.

To counter this you when travelling on roads such as dual carriageways and motorways, you should always pass a larger vehicle as quickly as you can. This blind spot is made worse when the vehicle is left hand drive and there are many such vehicles on UK roads. Often a sign on the back of the vehicle will alert you to this fact.

A second blind spot to beware of is the one where a car will be hidden from view when travelling too closely behind a large vehicle. The rule here is, if you can’t see the vehicles side mirrors then the driver can’t see you.

Bad Weather

When the roads are wet large vehicle can throw up large amounts of surface water known as spray. This spray can cover a windscreen and create a moment of blindness. To counter this, when about to pass a large vehicle in such weather conditions, turn your wipers on.

High sided vehicles are vulnerable in high wind conditions as the wind can force the vehicle to veer off course and into the path of oncoming traffic.

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