Few vehicles have a heavier payload, poorer turning radius and more blind spots than a 16-wheel truck. The maneuverability of the vehicles is poor, so avoiding accidents with a truck can often be a disastrous situation. The American Trucking Association has begun a safety awareness effort to combat road accidents. Car crashes are a number one killer of teenage drivers and the campaign is partially aimed to decrease those numbers.
Spear-heading the trucker’s group is a selection of million-mile, accident-free truck drivers. If anyone knows how to drive safely with precious cargo, it’s this group of drivers. Their goal is to reach the distracted driver eating and texting or the speeder weaving through lanes along with any other driver that perpetuates negligent or reckless behavior behind the wheel. Nine out of ten fatal crashes are caused by those three drivers.
In an effort to share the road safely, the truckers released a list of driving practices to follow.
- Eyes on the road if you’re driving. Every second you look away could be hundreds of yards at highway speed. That could be a huge difference in stopping time to avoid a car accident.
- Provide yourself a safety cushion of about a quarter of a mile to allow time to drive around any hazards on the road or stop in time for traffic.
- Slow down to the speed of traffic. Your chances of crashing are three times as high when your speed is greater than the cars around you.
- When passing a truck, look for the truck driver in the mirror. If you cannot see the driver, then they cannot see you. Be aware of this when passing trucks, especially because they have a much longer time to come to a complete stop.
- Follow the rules of the road. Traffic laws are in place for a reason.
- Take care when backing up because one in four preventable collisions occurs when reversing. Check all your blind spots and remember that approaching cars may not see your reverse lights as anything, but brake lights.