A wide range of vehicles use Alberta's roads every day. Every road user shares the responsibility to keep our roads as safe as possible. Here are some tips for sharing the road.
Passenger vehicle drivers
While it may seem routine, driving is a very complicated activity. Be conscious about developing safer driving habits.
Avoid blind spots
If you are behind a large vehicle, such as a tractor trailer, bus or RV, and you cannot see its side mirrors, you are in the vehicle's blind spot. There are also large blind spots along the sides of long vehicles, so avoid driving right beside them.
Check your own blind spots
Smaller road users, including cyclists and motorcyclists, can be more difficult to see. Check your mirrors and your blind spots regularly, especially before you change lanes, stop or turn.
Do not tailgate
Always assume the vehicle in front of you may need to brake suddenly and leave enough room for yourself to also stop suddenly without rear-ending them. Remember that larger vehicles often need to drive slower, especially on hills. Be patient, give them the room they need, and only pass when it is safe to do so.
Do not cut them off
Large vehicles need more time to stop so do not cut in front of them, especially when coming up to a light. When passing any vehicle, wait to pull in front of them until you can see the entire front of the vehicle in your rear view mirror.
Be careful when you are turning left across oncoming traffic. Smaller vehicles, like motorcycles, may look farther away than they actually are. Make sure you have enough room and time to turn safely.
Give them room
Whether you are driving near a cyclist or a tractor trailer, give other vehicles the space they need. For example, large vehicles may need to take up more than one lane to make up for their wider turns, so pay attention to their signals.
Commercial vehicle drivers
Drivers of tractor trailers, buses, school buses and other commercial vehicles play an important role in moving goods and people around the province. RVs and travel trailers also share the unique challenges of driving a vehicle that is taller, wider, longer and heavier than other vehicles on the road.
Leave more room
Large vehicles take longer to stop. Leave more room between you and the vehicle in front of you. It also takes longer to get up to speed, so leave more room before entering traffic.
Take your time
Slow down when going both uphill and downhill. On multi-lane roads, keep to the right. On one-lane roads, allow traffic to pass when it is safe to do so. Always drive to conditions. You can use your flashers to alert other drivers that you will be driving slowly.
Check your blind spots
Your blind spots are much larger. Check your mirrors frequently and look for vehicles, motorcyclists or cyclists who might be in your side blind spots. Stay far enough back from the vehicle ahead of you to allow for a slow, gradual stop. There may be someone in your rear blind spot and this can help prevent a rear-end collision.
Larger vehicles need more space to manoeuver. Use your turn signals to let other drivers know what you are doing, especially if you need to use more than one lane to complete a turn.
Remember how tall you are. Be aware of bridges, overpasses or even gas stations with low clearance.
Motorcycles are smaller than other motor vehicles, making them harder to see. In addition, motorcyclists are more vulnerable in collisions, since they are not enclosed in a vehicle's engineered life space.
Because you are smaller than other vehicles, you are harder to see. Stay out of blind spots. You can also increase your visibility by wearing bright and reflective gear.
You are more difficult to spot at night. Increase the distance you leave between you and the vehicle in front of you. Be extra cautious of vehicles turning left across your path.
Do not tailgate
Just like with other drivers, always assume the vehicle in front of you may need to brake suddenly. Leave enough room for yourself to also stop suddenly without running into them. Remember, you are more vulnerable that other road users. Be patient and be cautious.
For more information, see the ‘Sharing the Road’ section In the Driver’s Guide.
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