Navigating Roundabouts: What Truck Drivers Should Know
It is a bit of an understatement to say that semi-truck drivers have quite a few things to worry about when on the road. Keeping a keen eye out while following the rules of the road associated with you and your trailer is necessary to prevent large-scale accidents. These are some tips for navigating roundabouts and what truck drivers should know when dealing with them.
Make Use of the Apron
Most heavily-used roundabouts have an extra strip of elevated concrete known as the truck apron. These are meant to accommodate larger vehicles and provide additional space when turning in a roundabout. Aprons help allow extra leeway for semi-truck drivers, but it is still important to be mindful of other vehicles present in the surrounding lanes.
Patience Is a Necessity
Semi-trucks must adhere to the right of way for the sake of safety. Depending on how busy the road is, this is sometimes a test of patience. Still, it is important to remember that you are responsible for cars that you bump into as a result of entry into the roundabout. More experienced drivers likely have a solid grasp of the time needed to get in and the risks of a hasty entry.
Prioritizing the safety of yourself and others helps keep the road free of additional hazards while keeping you on track for your route. Luckily, roundabouts are always on your sight side, which gives you a good window of opportunity to scan the area for other vehicles around you before entering. This is optimal for allowing a smooth entrance and exit from the roundabout. Having a good set of aftermarket commercial truck mirrors also helps give you the best circumstances when watching out for other vehicles.
Pre-Plan Your Route
When approaching a busy roundabout, there is usually a fair amount of time to yield and analyze the path toward your destination. By paying attention to where you want to go, confusion is minimized upon your exit. This is especially prevalent for left turns that often result in longer time spent in the roundabout. Semi-trucks tend to take up more than one lane when turning, and in instances like these, being unsure of where you are supposed to turn presents an unnecessary hazard that could’ve been avoided before entering.
Roundabouts are not a difficult obstacle, as they ease traffic strain in most cases. Instead of worrying, breathe a sigh of relief the next time you use one. By considering some of these tips for navigating roundabouts as well as understanding what truck drivers should know when making use of them, you reduce your risk to other drivers while ensuring a safer experience moving forward.