What Does It Mean When Truckers Honk Their Horns?

Truckers get a bit of a reputation for thinking the size of their vehicle gives them the right to do whatever they want while driving and honking their horn is how they signal this to the rest of the world. However, that’s not quite the case. Truckers have their own type of language, such as flashing their lights, and if you hear the sound of beeping coming from a semi, it may mean that you’re creating a dangerous situation.

1. Driving in their blind spot

A trucker pulling on the cable to sound the horn knowing what it means when truckers honk their horns?
A truck driver | Getty Images

If you’ve ever tried to get over in the left lane only to find that another vehicle has magically appeared, then you’ve found out firsthand just what a blind spot is. The car didn’t get beamed down by aliens determined to cause a wreck. It was just driving in a place that made it impossible to see without turning your head to look.

This is the case for truck drivers, except that their blind spots are massive compared to those on smaller vehicles. According to Big Rig Headquarters, truckers have a blind spot twenty feet in front of the truck and 30 feet behind the rear bumper. That doesn’t account for the one on the sides of the truck.

2. Passing on the right

It may not seem like a big deal, but passing a truck on the right can put you and the truck driver in a very dangerous situation. This goes back to the blind spot. The truck driver may be trying to get over themselves, and may not see you.

3. Driving too slow could be a reason why truckers honk their horns

Laws vary from state to state, but in general, slow drivers are expected to drive in the right lane in the US. Driving like a tortoise in the left lane is a sure way to have many people beeping at you, and not just truck drivers. If you’re not in a hurry or prefer to drive at a more sedate pace, try moving over to the right.

4. Cutting in front of a truck

You can make many dangerous maneuvers while a semi is on the road with you, and cutting in front of them is one of the surest ways to cause a wreck.

The first problem is that the driver is most likely not able to see you. The second is that your rear end may clip the front of the truck, leading to a car accident. Given that it takes more distance for a semi to come to a stop, you’re most likely going to get T-boned.

5. Preventing wide right turns

This may be very frustrating, especially if you’re in a rush, but it’s essential to understand that large trucks need multiple lanes to turn right. If you move your vehicle forward so that you can turn right simultaneously, you’re preventing them from doing so. It’s also likely they can’t see you, so you may end up in a major accident as the truck moves in on you.

6. Following too closely can be a reason truckers honk their horns

You likely have no idea what is happening with the truck in front of you. There may be a deer leaping across the road, the vehicle in front of them may have to make a quick stop, or there may be workers in the road. If you’re riding the trucker’s bumper, if they brake hard, you may be getting up close and personal with their truck.

7. On the phone or not paying attention

It may not seem like a big deal to return a quick text, but it is. Texting, playing Candy Crush, or just flipping through your favorite playlist puts everyone on the road around you in danger, and truckers won’t be shy to let you know that you need to look up and put the phone down.

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