Social Question

SQUEEKY2's avatar

At highway speeds do you feel safer with a transport truck in front of you, or behind you?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (14212points) August 19th, 2017

And a brief why you feel this way would be nice.

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11 Answers

chyna's avatar

Behind me. If it is in front of me, the truck is blocking my view of what is ahead of me that I might miss such as a caution sign, or a road sign that I need to read. Also, he could lose a part of his tire that could fly back on me. The other day there was a truck in front and beside me carrying machinery and a piece came off and hit my car.

Pachy's avatar

Neither. I have a small car which and try to keep as far away from big trucks as possible, even to the extent of sometimes pulling off the highway for a while to let them get far ahead of me.

Mariah's avatar

Neither feels safe without a large space. If the truck is in front, without a large space the driver can’t see me and might not know I’m there. I can’t see around the truck very well to know what’s up ahead.

Behind, I am liable to get rear-ended if I stop suddenly. Trucks have long stopping distance due to their high mass.

CWOTUS's avatar

It entirely depends on the whole context of the drive, the weather, the road, other traffic, time of day, etc. And it always depends on “sufficient space”, whether I’m following or leading.

A few considerations:
Often in heavy traffic on a level surface with multiple lanes and in good weather, I like to find the “traffic shadow” in front of a big truck. Since it’s not accelerating as fast as most of the smaller vehicles there’s usually a “hollow” in front of the truck. I don’t want to camp there and slow the truck in any way, but that’s usually a calmer place than the traffic rushing by on both sides.

Going downhill in almost any traffic I prefer to be well behind the truck – or very well ahead. Since I don’t know the driver’s level of competence and attentiveness, I want lots of space if I’m ahead, and also a good deal if I’m trailing. On a multi-lane road I prefer “some other lane”.

In general I prefer to be ahead, because when I trail my vision is so restricted that I leave more and more space between us, and other drivers who don’t seem to care as much just fill that up – and I dislike that, too.

Going uphill on multi-lane roads I very much prefer to be ahead, and I’m usually passing. When one truck passes another at +5 mph or less I try not to be irked, since I would like to be travelling at +10 mph or more (in general, and “at least”, since trucks traveling uphill are already likely to be traveling at less than the speed limit).

And when I pass a truck – on either side – I try to do it quickly and won’t do it unless I can get ahead to where I’m visible again. I never spend time alongside trucks.

kritiper's avatar

I can see benefits either way. I like to see down the road so the truck being behind me would be nice. Figuring the truck driver is doing the correct speed so being behind it would be nice. All those tires could kick up more debris to harm my vehicle if I’m behind. If we come to a hill I can outpace him without slowing down or having to pass is nice. They’re pros;~ They don’t scare me.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Thanks for the answers guys, I really wanted a car drivers perspective of this, you have no idea the amount of car(which we call four wheelers)that can be suv’s,cars, and pick ups,that will do a super unsafe pass just to get in front of us then proceed to drive 5 to 10kph slower than we were going.
I figured vision had a lot to do with it.
I feel your pain about 2 trucks passing on a hill, but please try and understand that ,that might be the only place where we can get by the slower transport, I won’t attempt it if I have a long line of vehicles behind me, but a lot of times by the time you are beside the slower rig there is starting to be cars behind you.

Brian1946's avatar

I’d prefer that it be at least a mile behind me. That way, it’ll have plenty of stopping distance. Also, if it has an accident, it’ll have no impact on me.

ucme's avatar

I’m with Dennis Weaver, below me with the driver’s blood dripping from the steering wheel.

Muad_Dib's avatar

I drive a station wagon.

I feel more comfortable around big-rigs than I do around U-Haul trucks and RVs. At least I have the subconscious knowledge that the person in the big rig has at least ostensibly been formally trained in how to drive the damn thing.

Box trucks and dump trucks scare me, but that’s based on near-misses in my past. I try to avoid them as much as possible.

When slap comes to tickle, I’m most likely driving the speed limit or a little below, so if you start out behind me and end up in front I won’t be offended.

Zaku's avatar

As @CWOTUS wrote, it depends a lot on conditions. I usually am pretty confident that big trucks are mostly safe to be around because they have professional drivers and mostly won’t suddenly change speed or direction. I don’t know that I can list every consideration, but I think about their limited movement due to inertia, limited speed uphill, limited visibility behind themselves, and so on, and try to be safe for everyone around them. A few points:

* Sometimes overly-aggressive drivers do unsafe crap around trucks, especially trying to pass them and everyone else despite the reduced lanes, space, and the possible issues due to being too close to the trucks and no leaving safe space, etc. I try to avoid being near those bozos when they are trying to squeeze ahead of other cars especially around big trucks.

* On winding mountain highways at night when it’s difficult for me to gauge conditions, going downhill, I sometimes choose to follow behind a big truck at a few truck lengths’ distance, because it makes it really easy to see where the road is going and I trust they can see and will go a safe speed, and even if a disaster happened to them I should have plenty of distance to stop.

* The main time large trucks make me feel unsafe is when there is water on the road, especially dirty water or snow, and the trucks send it flying into the air and getting on my windshield. Then in can be awful to be behind or beside big trucks.

* Truck behind can also be scary if there is too-tight traffic ahead and not enough stopping distance.

* Truck ahead can be a vision problem.

I try to pass safely and only when I want to go at least as fast as they are going.

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