Assess Intersections: Proceed With Caution

Sep 18, 2016

Rule six of the Megasafe7 Rules of Safe Driving is Assess Intersections. Intersections are one of the most dangerous driving situations we encounter. So always proceed with utmost caution. A report on Rear-End Large Truck Crashes found that 14.6 percent of truck-striking crashes are intersection related.

If you are stopped at a light, always leave around 15 to 20 feet of space in front of you, whether it is a vehicle or a stop bar. Of course, state laws will always supersede recommendations.

When going through an intersection, scan left, then right and then left again, as advised by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If turning at an intersection, choose the best lane, which is usually the farthest outside lane available. Frequently check your mirrors and scan for pedestrians and other vehicles.  

Assess Intersections

If making a right-hand turn, keep in mind that the set-up is the first and most critical step in completing the turn safely. Start your set-up 500 feet in advance. Travel straight into the intersection until you can see down the lane you are turning into. Maintain one to four feet between trailer tandems and the curb while turning. You should be looking in your right mirror 75 percent of the turn and using the other 25 percent to check straight and to the left. Stay in gear throughout the entire turn.

If at any time traveling through the intersection becomes unsafe, abort the maneuver.