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Old 03-05-2012, 08:32 AM   #1
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When to flash lights when passed?

This question came to mind, while reading a thread on Truckers and manners. How soon after a truck or RV clears your front bumper should you flash your lights?

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Old 03-05-2012, 08:46 AM   #2
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It depends. If someone is right on the trucker's tail raising a ruckus and he needs to get over quickly and he's moving substantially faster than you where he will clear you pretty quickly, I'll flash him over when he's 5-10 feet past my front bumper, primarily because I've had truckers extend me the same courtesy.

On the other hand, if there's no real rush for him to get back into the right lane, if there's loose gravel on the road, if the roads are really wet, etc., I might wait MUCH longer.

Just my 2 cents' worth. As usual, YMMV.


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Old 03-05-2012, 09:01 AM   #3
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As soon has you feel it safe for him to cut in.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:15 AM   #4
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My suggestion is not to flash at all. It's his responsibility to know how long is vehicle is and he needs to allow you room to have a safe clearance between vehicles. You need a space for safety. If something should happen in front of him(where you won't be able to see once he moves back in) like a sudden deer running out. Then he will claim that you have some responsibility in his being where he was when the need to jam on the brakes happened! It is your responsibility to maintain your speed and let him control his.The safest time for him to move back in is when you have at the very least an 8 second distance between you! I can almost gurantee you that won't happen! He put his vehicle out there, it's his responsibility to get back in safely!
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:21 AM   #5
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And don't do it TO QUICKLY... or as soon as he pulls in front of you, your vehicle will accelerate slightly.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:23 AM   #6
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I generally watch the passenger side mirror on the truck that just passed and can see the driver looking for clearance, that's when I flash. In the evening which is not very often as we don't make a habbit of driving at night I generally gage about 75ft then flash.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:29 AM   #7
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I typically give them a full truck length. As a former OTR trucker I appreciated the courtesy.
Larry any trucker who has experience will not swerve to avoid a deer much less a car pulling out immediately in front of them. Its far more dangerous to do so! I've had cars coming up a on ramp that would not merge with traffic at the same speed. When I could not move to the left lane to accommodate them they usually wound up slowing down more or riding on the shoulder.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:47 AM   #8
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I don't want them cutting in too soon, I'm thinking of that big ole piece of glass I have on the front of my motorhome. :-)
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:49 AM   #9
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It's funny... I thought about posting something concerning truckers and the old days. I was wondering why the truckers seem less friendly today... remembering back to when I was a young kid and we made long trips in the family car. My dad knew all these little signal to the truckers and they knew them... it was like they talked to each other and exchanged courtesies with their lights and actions. Back then the highways were still only one lane each way so passing was a necessity and at times very dangerous.
I still remember some of those signal... but I thought many of the truckers ignored them or don't know them.
Now I see from Luckiest Dre's comment that maybe they don't expect them or think we don't know them because most of us don't use them.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:49 AM   #10
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I wait until I can see the trucker in his mirrors.

If I can't see him, he can't see me and no point in flashing until then.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:35 AM   #11
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I also wait to see driver in his right mirror. If you receive light flash when passing a big rig when back in lane flash your lights this id saying thx.I have also flashed 4 ways. In the past we turned the icc switch on and off
this controlled the running lights dont see this any more I have also used lights to allow rigs to move over when they want to pass a slower truck.

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Old 03-05-2012, 02:30 PM   #12
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If on a four lane or expressway, I don't flash(they know where the rear of their trailer is). As mentioned, there's a huge piece of glass I'm protecting so I'd rather not have a semi too close up front. If on a two lane and there's oncoming traffic ahead or limited passing distance, I'll flash and slow down if the pass takes too long. I don't hold these guys up...I'll pull over if need be and let them by ASAP, not just when it's convenient. We travel the two lanes whenever possible, so this is SOP for us. Bob

BTW, we very seldom travel at night.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:40 PM   #13
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When I Am A Flasher

Originally Posted by CapnMorgan View Post
This question came to mind, while reading a thread on Truckers and manners. How soon after a truck or RV clears your front bumper should you flash your lights?
I've started doing this only when he is under pressure from behind; it helps deter impatient drivers from darting along the right side of the semi which is rude and dangerous.

The distance depends on speed and road surface. Like someone wisely said, you might get rock-dinged or not be able to handle a sudden development, if you've brought in he's "following too close in front of you."
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:55 PM   #14
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After he slides in front of you, back off to your safe 4-6 second following distance. Then begin looking into your driving future 15 secounds ahead.

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