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Avoid a ruck with a truck

Many drivers feel intimidated overtaking large trucks on motorways, but with careful planning it needn’t be a problem. All lorries based within the EU are restricted to driving at 56mph; so their speed is relatively predictable, therefore don’t drive at 50mph in a lane to the right of a truck as it cannot overtake you, and the driver may be on a tight schedule and need to maintain 56mph.

Just be aware when overtaking left-hand-drive lorries that they’ll have very little visibility of you to their right and the blind spot can be quite big. One way to identify a foreign truck is if the registration plate is not the UK amber colour. If you can, try to see the driver’s face before you overtake. If you cannot see it, the driver will be unable to see you either.

Also, look out for the pattern of mirrors on a lorry – left-hand-drive lorries will usually have a mirror pointing downwards on the right-hand side which means you can identify them more easily (UK trucks have this mirror on the left.). If you can, allow an additional lane when overtaking so move into the third lane if there is one. This means you’ll be less likely to be ‘side swiped’ by a foreign truck driver who didn’t see you. Lorries also tend to create a wind effect in front and behind them causing passing cars to be blown around and this avoids that problem as well. Remember, trucks cannot react in the same way as a car, so simply give them time and space.