Driving with road trains

Road trains and other heavy vehicles need more space on the road and take longer to stop.

You should follow these safety tips on driving with road trains:

  • be patient - do not cut in front of road trains, especially when they are slowing down at traffic lights or turning
  • do not overtake a turning road train and give them space and time
  • keep your distance when travelling behind road trains on unsealed roads and use your headlights
  • slow down and pull off the road and drive slowly on the shoulder of the road when approaching an oncoming road train on a single lane highway
  • don't drive in convoys, especially if you are towing a caravan.

Being overtaken by a road train

When a road train starts to overtake your vehicle:

  1. Maintain your speed.
  2. Keep left and don't move off the road.
  3. Only slow down once the road train moves out to pass.

When the road train has passed flash your headlights to let the driver know that it is safe to move back in.

Overtaking a road train

Before overtaking:

  1. Stay well back when behind a road train.
  2. Make sure the driver can see you in one of their mirrors.
  3. Be certain you can see enough clear road space ahead.
  4. Only overtake when you are confident you can safely do so.

When overtaking:

  1. Signal, move out and pass quickly but sensibly.
  2. Don't move back in until you see both the road train's headlights in your mirrors and don't slow down.

Stopping distances for road trains

You must allow more time to stop safely when driving behind a heavy vehicle or road train. Road trains take longer to stop.

The table below shows comparisons of stopping distances for cars and trucks when driving at the same speeds.

Vehicle speedCar stopping distanceTruck stopping distance

If driving in hazardous weather conditions - eg: wind or dust - always leave more room when driving behind a heavy vehicle or road train.

Last updated: 16 March 2015

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