Motorists reminded to drive safely around big trucks
JEFFERSON CITY –Law enforcement agencies throughout North America will engage in heightened traffic safety enforcement and educational outreach as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week, Oct. 15-21. Throughout the week, enforcement personnel will identify and issue warnings and/or citations to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and passenger-vehicle drivers exhibiting unsafe driving behaviors on our roadways.
Examples of dangerous driver behaviors that enforcement personnel will be tracking throughout Operation Safe Driver Week are speeding, distracted driving, texting, failure to use a safety belt while operating a CMV or in a passenger vehicle, traveling too closely, improper lane change, failure to obey traffic control devices, etc.
Commercial motor vehicles (CMV) are an important part of our nation’s economy. They carry goods from coast to coast and make up 20 percent of all traffic on Missouri’s interstates.
When crashes involving tractor trailers occur, the disproportionate size of a truck versus a car means those crashes can often involve serious injuries or worse. There’s no room for taking chances around big trucks – they require extra room. “Human error accounts for over 90 percent of traffic crashes,” said Bill Whitfield, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. “Please pay attention – buckle up and put your phone down.”
There were 132 people killed and 4,034 injured in Missouri traffic crashes involving a CMV in 2016. Here are some safety tips to help keep everyone safe when sharing the road with large commercial vehicles:
- Don’t cut off large trucks or buses when passing. Make sure you can see the top of the truck or bus in your rearview mirror before moving back into your original lane.
- Stay out of the “No Zone.” Big trucks have large blind spots on either side and up to 200 feet behind a vehicle. Pass only on the left side.
- Watch your following distance. Keep a 20-25 car length distance around trucks. Can you see the driver in the truck’s side mirrors? If not, the driver cannot see you.
For additional information regarding roadway safety, or other transportation-related topics, contact the MoDOT Customer Service Center toll free, at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636). For more information on the Operation Safe Driver Campaign, visit http://savemolives.com/campaigns/details/operation-safe-driver-awareness-week.