I want to talk about truck, van, lorry, and heavy goods vehicles. Before that, let us all rise and give their drivers a standing ovation.
As if driving a car isn’t difficult already, with e-scooters, bikes, bicycles, random pedestrians, children dashing across the roads, insurance scammers and all manner of roadly activities happening–truck drivers are a different breed altogether.
They not only (mostly) drive a manual vehicle, but one that is laden with goods that add a lot of weight to it. The result is a vehicle that feels sluggish going up slopes and can’t brake on a dime when going down.
Truck drivers tend to keep safe distances between themselves. I say “tend to” because we know that’s not always the case in Singapore. But, you know what’s more amazing? I’ve had the pleasure of driving behind trucks in the past. The good drivers can maintain their speed, even if only going 40km/hr on the left lanes.
While it isn’t the most comfortable experience getting sandwiched between a lorry and van, you can bet this convoy moves at a steady pace. And like cyclists, we hate to brake. Braking means wasted energy. Nobody likes start-stop traffic.
Truck drivers thus keep safe distances in mind. The heavier the vehicle, the longer and further it takes for them to brake. For this reason, I like to imagine them possessing a great load of patience as cars speed up to occupy the space ahead of them.
Sometimes, I am one of them.
Notice that trucks will slow down again to always maintain a safe distance. I observed that the larger the vehicle, and the more goods they carry, the gap between them and the vehicle in front tends to grow.
Again, the keyword here is “tends to”. While we groan about vans driving on the 2nd lane, sometimes, it can’t be helped. They have delivery schedules to adhere to, and drivers aren’t always courteous enough to let vans do a 3 to 2 to 3 lane switch.
What was I on to again? Oh right, truck drivers.