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Missouri Department of Transportation

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MoDOT News Release 

October 14, 2015 06:56 AM
Some Things Aren't Worth Chancing
Motorists reminded to drive safely around big trucks.

JEFFERSON CITY - 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. During Operation Safe Driver Week, Oct. 18-24, along with statewide educational efforts, law enforcement will actively pull passenger vehicles and trucks over for unsafe behavior, issuing citations for all manner of violations, from speeding to failure to obey a traffic device, to DUI's.

Crashes involving tractor trailers don't happen very often, but when they do, the disproportionate size of a truck versus a car means those crashes can often involve serious injuries or worse. Research shows that in the majority of these crashes, drivers of passenger cars unnecessarily endanger themselves by not paying attention and driving recklessly around big trucks. That's why it's so important for all motorists to drive safely around big trucks. There were 111 people killed in Missouri traffic crashes involving a CMV in 2014, with 25 being drivers/passengers of the CMV.

There's no room for taking chances around big trucks - they require big room. "We don't want you to take any chances when it comes to safely moving around big trucks," said Bill Whitfield, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "Please pay attention."

  • Don't cut off large trucks or buses. 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 safety cushion around trucks.  Can you see the truck's side mirrors? If not, the driver cannot see you.

"Commercial motor vehicle drivers are required by federal law to follow strict safety guidelines, including mandatory seat belt usage and hands-free cell phone devices," said Colonel Bret Johnson, Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "Failure to do so can result in violations and can affect both the driver and company's safety score."

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.



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