Sharing the road with large vehicles

When driving in NZ, you will often share the road with larger vehicles such as buses and trucks. It is important to remember that when sharing the road with larger vehicles, there are several ways you need to adapt your driving.

Trucks are buses are much larger than your average car. This means that they are often travelling at slower speeds, may stop often, and take time to accelerate and slow down or come to a stop. When driving near larger vehicles, check your following distance and speed, and remember to be patient.

Following distance

  • Follow at least 3-seconds behind a large vehicles. This will give you time to react if the large vehicle slows down, turns, or come to a stop.
  • In wet conditions, increase your following distance as water spray from large vehicles may limit your visibility.

speed and overtaking

  • It takes longer to pass a large vehicle, so make sure there is more than 100m of clear road ahead to pass safely, and within the speed limit. Ensure you also indicate for 3 seconds, check your mirrors and blindspots in case others are passing.
  • Where possible, wait until there is a slow vehicle or bus lane for the large vehicle to move into so you may pass.


Large vehicles have big blindspots, so position your car where you are able to see the side mirrors. This will ensure the driver knows you are there.

Air Turbulence

If there is a large oncoming vehicle, have firm control of your steering wheel to ensure your car is not pushed or swayed.

Turning & Reversing

Be patient when a large vehicle is turning or reversing as they may need space to do so safely. This means they may cross the centreline, tor take up two lanes.

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