Sharing the road with heavy vehicles can be a daunting experience but a necessary one for any motorist or caravanner planning a road trip.
RACQ Manager Motoring Advice Joel Tucker said caravanners and motorists must be prepared to share the road with trucks before setting off.
“When driving around heavy vehicles you need to be aware of the space they need and understand that slowing down and stopping is more difficult for them,” Mr Tucker said.
“Driving a vehicle with a caravan or trailer also means you need more time to accelerate and come to a stop.
“For trucks, the acceleration and stopping distance is even more due to their increased weight, so give them space and don’t do anything abruptly.”
Mr Tucker said motorists should take particular care when trying to overtake heavy vehicles.
“You need to be prepared when overtaking trucks as their large size means it takes longer to get around them,” he said.
“If you’re towing, remember your acceleration won’t be as good, and you need to factor in the size of your trailer when merging back into the lane.
Mr Tucker said motorists unfamiliar with towing should do a trial run before setting off on any long road trips and may want to consider a caravanning course.
“Ideally, you should have experience driving on highways and rural roads before you start towing something over long distances,” he said.
“Motorists may also want to try and borrow a caravan to make sure they can handle its size before they commit to buying one, as it’s a substantial investment.
“A caravan is just a big trailer at the end of the day and, while there is no training required, if you want to do a course, it’s always a good idea.
“If you have done a training course and are still uncomfortable, the best advice is to pull over and have a rest.”
Mr Tucker said its important everyone shares the road safely as we all have families and friends to get home to.
“When it comes down to it, the roads were not built for specific modes of transport but for people,” he said.
“We all need to make sure that we can share the roads safely together, whether that be to give a truck space because it’s a large vehicle or giving a cyclist extra room to be safe and considerate.
“Most importantly, don’t be in a rush.
“An extra few minutes here and there won’t make or break a road trip but having a crash will.”