We’re covering a lot of distance at the moment, but we’re slow. In fact, it took me three months before I realised The Gifted Gypsy has a beeping indicator that triggers once we reach 100 kph! So I like to let others easily overtake me, especially trucks that are travelling to deadlines.

Lauren driving The Gifted Gypsy, November 2012
While driving our housebus, I like being courteous to faster road users and permit them to overtake us easily.

Based on excellent Aussie advice, here’s what I do when a truck comes up behind me. (I don’t have a UHF radio in our bus.)

  1. I maintain a steady speed. Rather than slowing down, which would force the truck to lose rev as it slows to match me, I just keep my speed steady, trying especially not to speed up — even downhill.
  1. When it’s safe to pass, I indicate so. A quick flash with the right-hand indicator means that the road ahead is clear. If I’m ever in any doubt, I do nothing. The truckies are much more experienced at driving than I am, and they probably know the stretches of road anyhow, but — where appropriate — I like to indicate to show that I’m willing to let them overtake me easily.
  1. Once the truck is completely out from behind me, I ease off on my speed. I don’t need to slow down much to give a truck a shorter overtaking time. I also don’t need to brake — I just take my foot off the accelerator.
  1. Once the end of the truck is past me, I flash my headlights. This is another courtesy gesture to let the truck-driver know that it’s safe for them to pull back into the driving lane. It may not be necessary, but, again, it shows that I’m working with them.

Often I’m rewarded with a double flash of the indicators as the truck speeds away — a truckie’s way of saying thanks!

For more hints on sharing the roads with trucks driving while towing caravans or driving bigger rigs, refer to this post which is complete with diagrams and more specific advice.

It’s wonderful to be part of a growing community of families and gypsies travelling the road, and if we can learn to work with trucks instead of competing against them, we’ll all have safer journeys! Drive safe.