Safety Tips

8 Safety Tips for Truck Drivers on Sharing the Road with other Motorists and Motorcyclists

Robin Ingram
4 minutes

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles started the "Share the Road" initiative. A campaign created to spread awareness that motorists, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and in some cases pedestrians, all have a right to safely use the road. They, and we, want everyone to travel with caution so ALL road users can ARRIVE ALIVE! Here at LGT Transport, safety is our number one concern. It is of utmost importance that everyone on the road does their part, including us and our drivers. So, we created 8 helpful tips for truck drivers to use when sharing the road with other motorists, motorcyclists, and bicyclists.

1. Don't Share the Lane

Never attempt to share the lane with a motorcycle or bicyclist. Motorcyclists and Bicyclists are entitled to the entire lane.

2. Look Carefully

Watch for other cars and motorcycles and look carefully before pulling into an intersection or changing lanes.

3. When Looking to Make a Maneuver in Front of a Motorcycle, Accurately Estimate Its Distance

It's Difficult to Gauge the Speed of a Motorcycle. Motorcycles take up less of your field of vision, which sincerely affects your depth perception. Because of this, Motorcyclists may appear much farther away than they truly are. It's important to accurately estimate the distance the motorcycle is away from you before changing lanes in front of them. The other option is to wait for the Motorcycle to pass before changing lanes. This ensures there's no chance of a collision between you and the motorcycle.

4. Don't Follow too Close

This goes with anybody on the road, from other motorists to motorcyclists and even bicyclists. Do not follow too closely behind them. Almost any other vehicle on the road can stop much more quickly than a semi-truck, especially motorcycles. You want to give as much breathing room as possible in case of sudden stops.

5. Visual Warnings Won't Always Be There

Many times motorcycle's break lights won't activate due to how they slow down. This could be from downshifting or rolling off the throttle. We recommend you should always assume a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.

6. Never Pass Another Vehicle by Only a Few Feet

Never pass a motorcyclist with only a few feet of space. This goes for not just motorcycles, but other motorists and bicyclists too. The force of the wind gust from your semi or trailer can cause the rider/driver to lose control. Also, you can never assume they'll do one thing, you have to assume anything is possible so it's better to always pass with more than a mere few feet.

7. When Being Passed, Maintain Your Lane Position

Do not increase your speed or change lanes when any other object or vehicle is passing you. It's better to hold off until lanes are steady.

8. The 4-Second Buffer Zone

Always maintain a 4-second or greater buffer zone between you and a motorcyclist. Also, in times of inclement weather, gusty winds, wet or icy roads, bad road conditions, and railroad crossings be sure to increase that space even more.

We encourage any and all truck drivers to use these tips when sharing the road with others. Help us spread awareness and keep everyone on the road safe. Remember, no one has sole rights to the road. It is a shared space with shared responsibility. For more information on Motorcycle and Bicycle Safety Awareness Month, visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles webpage.

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