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How should you pass a semi-truck or lorry on a tight motorway?

Trucks are common on today's roads, and it is worth taking precautions when driving near them. Construction, farming, and mining vehicles can be equipped with heavy-duty equipment that weighs in at several tons. These machines and the truck itself can cause significant damage to smaller vehicles or people if the driver loses control. This article aims to teach you how to pass a large vehicle to avoid accidents.

How should you pass a truck or semi-truck?

In the UK, the Highway Code states that drivers should give any vehicle over 20ft long a wide berth and that you should only move into the left lane to pass it if the road is clear. When passing a truck, drivers should be aware of the limited visibility and blind spots that the truck may have. To pass safely, you should:

  1. Pass at a steady, safe speed.
  2. Ensure your visibility to the truck driver before attempting to pass.
  3. Use indicators to indicate to the truck driver that you are passing.
  4. Pass on the left when overtaking a truck on a motorway or public road.
  5. Ensure you are far enough away from the truck before re-entering the lane.
  6. Check your mirrors and blind spots.
  7. Check the rear view before entering the vehicle's blind spot.
  8. Be aware of the road conditions - poor visibility, wet weather, and strong winds may affect the truck driver's ability to control their vehicle. Take extra care in these circumstances.

Along with these tips, it is vital to know the size of the truck you are passing and its load. You should use caution when driving and not run into the truck's blind spots. Here are the don't(s) to remember when passing a truck:

  1. Do not approach the truck too quickly. Take your time and do not rush it. You should take this extra time to assess road conditions and any hazards in your way.
  2. Do not tailgate the truck. Tailgating is an inappropriate and potentially dangerous act that can cause accidents due to a driver losing control or an unexpected sudden braking reaction of the truck driver.
  3. Do not presume the truck driver is aware of your position and intentions. This could easily result in a traffic collision.
  4. Do not focus on anything other than the road ahead. When passing a truck, you should keep your eyes fixed on the road and make sure you are in control of your vehicle.
  5. Do not try to beat a truck at a problematic or dangerous curve.
  6. Do not try to pass the truck on a curve or maneuver your vehicle in a way that would typically be difficult for the truck driver.
  7. Do not attempt a pass on a blind curve or within the truck's blind spot. If you can get by truck quickly on a straight stretch, that is the best place to try it.

Important information regarding trucks and semi-trucks

  •  A truck takes more time to stop compared to a car.
  •  A truck's blind spot is significant and should not be entered.
  •  A truck can be wider than a regular lane (motorway or road) and can take up more space.
  •  A truck can reduce your visibility to other drivers and pedestrians by pulling other vehicles into its blind spot.


A truck can be an intimidating vehicle to pass, but if you take your time, proceed at a safe speed, and keep the truck driver in sight, you should be able to overtake it with no incident. To sum up, always pass trucks and semi-trucks with caution to avoid collisions and the dangers of driving on motorways.

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