Truck signs: Constr Vehicle - Do Not Follow - Huh!?

I’ve seen construction vehicles with a ‘Keep Back 500 Feet’ sign on them, meaning that loose dirt, rocks etc. can fly out of them. But why these signs?

I guess I understand the basic message, namely that these trucks are headed for unmaintained roads. But why the need to warn people of this, in this way (i.e. the “Do Not Follow” part)? Why would anyone be likely to follow one of these trucks more than another vehilce? Are they more intended for big cities like NYC where a closed road might not look so closed?

I’ve always described them as pseudo-lawsuit avoiders, since to the average person it might imply to them that if they follow too closely, and rocks/other debris flies out of the truck and smashes your windshield, it was your fault.

If the signs just warn people to “stay back x feet” I’d consider it a friendly warning. If it appends the line “Not responsible for damage to _______” then it’s completely moot, since they are, no matter what sign they put on their truck, responsible for unsecured loads potentially flying out and damaging other property.

In the end, I think it’s just another warning sign. This is America after all. We need notices to not use blowdryers in the bathtub for cryin’ out loud.

I think by “do not follow” they mean do not follow to close.

While watching these trucks enter and exit a construction zone on an interstate, it occurred to me that the “Do Not Follow” sign is meant to prevent drivers from inadvertently following a truck off the intended roadway and into a construction zone. In heavy traffic with a lot of lane shifts and pylons everywhere, that seems a real possibility.

Right, and you can’t read the “Stay Back 1000 Feet” sign unless you’re 250 feet from the back of the truck. :smack:
It’s meant to keep you far enough from the back of the truck so that fallen debris wont end up in your windshield or radiator or face. Often when a you see a truck with a sign like this they are just coming from a construction site (with mud on the tires and stones on the tailgate from the last dump) or they are goin to the construction site with a full load of stones and some might fall off and onto the road.

It’s got nothing to do with really following the truck off the beaten path.

Because there are morons who follow really close behind these trucks and when they inevitably get a broken windshield they go after the construction company’s insurance company to get it replaced. Some states don’t allow subrogation for windshield damage, but not all.

In addition;

Think about it, the trucks are on forbidden roads for only a very short time relative to the trips back and forth on regular roads. Construction sites that aren’t intended for normal traffic are heavily marked as such. You’d have to be quite the ding-dong to actually follow one of these trucks into a construction site that you shouldn’t be driving into.
Also, there are many construction sites where access is granted to normal (limited) traffic. How does the truck driver know from day to day which site he’ll be driving his truck to and what kind of traffic will be allowed there?
And, when these trucks do finally make it to their destination they often times have to stop and back up to get in a position to retrieve or dump a load. If you are close behind you may become part of the load.
All evidence that the sign in a general warning to stay at a safe distance.

I actually got hit by a rock as I was PASSING a trailer with a construction vehicle on it. We were on a two lane (each direction) highway, he was doing 50, and I had to get past him or sit behind him.

So not EVERYONE who gets hit by flying debris is a moron. :rolleyes:

I think you read that backwards. He was saying that people who follow to close are morons, not people who get hit by rocks.

Rocks stay high enough and/or bounce high enough to hit your windshield even when your 50 or 60 feet back. Why shouldn’t I go after thier insurance company? Maybe if the driver secured their load properly it wouldn’t be an issue. Now, don’t get me wrong, I give dump trucks plenty of space. Accidents happen, rocks come out of tire treads or around the edges of a tarp, but no matter the case, when it happens it’s the drivers and/or company’s fault. Not mine.

Around these parts, the signs explicitly say “Do Not Follow Into Construction Zone”.

I’ve seen signs that say “Do not enter construction zone unless authorized”. Probably both are to avoid liability in case you’re stupid enough to enter a construction zone unprotected.

I would imagine another reason they don’t want you to follow too closely is that the construction trucks may make unexpected slows and stops as they enter into construction zones. Joe Average Driver may be going along fat, dumb and happy thinking there isn’t an exit for miles when all of a sudden Mr. Dump Truck suddenly brakes to pull into a work zone.

The other week I was on my way to work minding my own business when this big truck passed me. On the back of the truck was a sign that stated “Stay Back 100 Feet”. I was tempted to get the guy to pull over so I could ask him how the Hell I was supposed to stay a 100 feet back when he just passed me…slam on my brakes? :wink: