We’ve most likely all had the experience of being behind a slow-moving truck going up a hill or taking time to reach the speed limit. When we’re in a hurry, getting stuck behind a truck can be inconvenient and frustrating. Wondering how much of a distance you should leave behind a truck? Read on for some helpful information.
Minimum following distance
Australian road laws are pretty consistent across states. The general rule for a road train behind a long vehicle is 200 metres. It’s 60 metres for a long vehicle that’s behind another long vehicle – though these distances don’t apply to roads with multiple lanes, travelling in urban areas, or overtaking.
If you’re driving a car and you’re behind a truck, leave at least 3 seconds of stopping time between you.
As travelling behind a truck can cause anxiety, it’s important to know how you can stay visible and when you’re permitted to overtake.
Trucks have their own blind spots, which are larger than those of other vehicles. You can ensure you’re visible to the truck driver ahead of you if you can see their wing mirror. If you’re unable to see the driver’s mirror, the driver is unable to see you. As trucks can’t slow down or speed up as quickly as other vehicles, cars may not be able to overtake as readily.
If a truck is longer than expected, they may not be able to slow down enough to let you pass if a car appears unexpectedly in the opposing lane. You are not permitted to overtake vehicles over 7.5 metres long. These vehicles will display a ‘Do Not Overtake Turning Vehicles’ sign to ensure they’re recognisable.
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