Professional Driver's Handbook

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The tailgater

A driver of commercial vehicles such as buses, trucks and power units and semi trailers must rely on outside mirrors for rear vision.

A tailgater often drives directly behind the commercial vehicles and may not be visible.

It may not always be possible for you to prevent a rear-end collision by an irresponsible driver. There is a bonus factor, however. If your stop is gradual, the speed of impact will be considerably less than if you stopped suddenly.

The tailgater is usually a person who lacks patience and foresight. This lack of patience could be caused by your vehicle’s speed and the way you drive. By watching the rear mirrors, you can often protect yourself from a tailgater by helping the tailgater pass your vehicle. The tailgater is easier to deal with ahead of you than behind you. Don’t let the tailgater put an incident on your record!

Upon approaching an upgrade where there is a passing lane, the driver of a vehicle travelling slower than the normal traffic flow must use the right lane. Where such lanes are not provided, the driver of a slower vehicle should allow the traffic that has built up to pass at the earliest safe opportunity.

Experienced drivers adjust their pace according to conditions and traffic tempo, maintain a safe stopping distance ahead and behind, and maintain a driving space all around their vehicle. They have time to read the traffic pattern and continuously plan an escape route should their danger zone become occupied.

The Tailgater


Rev: 2017