Semi Truck Driving Safety

There are a lot of  people in the driving public who wonder about semi truck driving safety.  Many people are scared of trucks because they are so massive.

I just had a dream, and I want to share it with you.  It illustrates what I’m talking about.  So my husband and I are in our truck on a two lane road.  A duck is crossing the road and we hit it.  It’s sad but there is nothing to be done.  A little ways down the road we stop to get a drink.  We come out of the store to find this guy hitting our truck with a sledge hammer!   He’s hollering, “You killed my duck!  You KILLED my duck!”  I start talking to the man trying to get him to calm down.  I finally get him to look at me, and put down the hammer.  But he’s still angry.  “There was no reason for you to kill him.  You should have stopped.  You should have swerved!”  I pointed out in front of the truck.  “It takes more than the length of a football field to bring a truck to a complete stop.  If something pops out of the ditch and heads across in that distance, it’s gonna get hit”  I told him.  “Well, you could have swerved.”  I told him that if we swerved to miss something on the road at any speed, we where likely to tip over the trailer.  ”  How would you feel if we swerved to miss your duck, and flopped this trailer onto a van full of kids?”  He was getting less belligerent now.  “Well, isn’t there anything you could have done?” My answer was “No.  The only way your duck would have lived is if you kept him off the road.”  Then I woke up…

This shows the driving public’s willingness to blame trucks for the bad things that happen on roads.  Which is extremely unfair.  I will have to check the current numbers, but as of a couple years ago, 85% of the accidents that involve a car and a semi truck, are completely the auto’s fault.  The person in the car was darting in and out of traffic, or drifting in the lane, or braked suddenly… and the truck hit them.  There was nothing the truck could do to avoid the wreck!

Trucks are huge and intimidating.  They are hard to stop.  Most are hauling 80,000 lbs. or more! Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.  As a car, you have a responsibility to do things to keep yourself safe. You also need to help that person get his job done and get home to his family safely.

Here are things you can do to keep yourself and the trucker safe on the roads…

  • Leave a space between the back of your car, and the front of his truck.  If you are closer than 6 car lengths in front of him, he can’t see your taillights…which means he can’t see you brake!
  • Don’t talk on the cell phone or text while driving!  People drift around on the road and start and stop erratically when they are talking on the phone.  A trucker can’t get out of your way…you have to stay out of his!
  • Stay back!  There are 18 tires picking up road debris and flinging them backwards.  Again this is a natural law, not something the trucker can avoid doing.  It is up to you to protect yourself from the grit and rocks that fly out from under a truck.  If you stay back, you will avoid grit and garbage.  You will also be able to see his taillights better, and avoid hitting the back of him as he slows down or maneuvers.
  • Lastly,  if you are passing a truck…DO IT!  A truck has blind spots.  It is the nature of anything that size.  He might see you way behind, then look up at the road ahead.  When he looks back, you are gone!  He doesn’t know whether you are passing him or pulled in behind.  If there is someone on the side of the road, he could swerve into that lane and never see you.  The area beside a truck could be called a dead zone,  he is absolutely blind to you…and you are dead if your caught there.  Move!

I hope these tips help keep the driving public, all the truckers…and some ducks…safer out there! Semi truck driving safety is all drivers responsibility!

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