Take care with turning trucks

Trucks are an unavoidable part of life for bike riders. Often, it seems as though there's one around every corner.

But with a little knowledge, converted into an instinct, you can maintain your safety around them.

A large proportion of truck collisions with riders and pedestrians occur when trucks turn left. Being long, a truck needs a bigger radius to make a turn, so it takes up more of the road. 

Our streets are designed to take account of this, using the concept known as "swept path”  the road space a truck occupies as it moves through its turn.

If you stand on a corner and watch a large truck make this manoeuvre, you might be surprised how close the back of the vehicle comes to you.

And it gets more complicated if the truck is articulated.

Often, to make space for this turn, the truck will move closer to the centre of the roadway as it approaches a left turn.

This is where riders can be tricked.

If you are following a truck and you see it move to the right as it slows down approaching an intersection, you might see a gap that you can take to get ahead of the truck.

Wait! Don't be tempted to seize the opportunity and ride up the left side of the truck.

What the truck is doing is legal. Drivers can move their rig across to the right and take up two lanes in order to make a left turn.

Once the truck starts to make that turn its rear view mirrors may no longer be in a position to reveal the driver the presence of a bike rider.

Develop the instinct to always stay back. When another rider sees you do that it will alert them to the risk, and over time we can spread this survival skill across the riding community.