Motorists Urged to Share the Road During Operation Safe Driver Week, October 14-20
JEFFERSON CITY - Most days, drivers of commercial trucks and passenger vehicles travel safely, but the unsafe and aggressive driving behaviors of a few results in unnecessary danger.
That's the point of Operation Safe Driver Week - October 14-20 - drivers of big trucks and passenger vehicles need to respect each other, pay attention and avoid unsafe behavior that could result in a crash.
Missouri law enforcement agencies will pay special attention to commercial vehicle drivers' compliance with safety regulations. They will also watch for unsafe and aggressive driving behaviors by both passenger and commercial drivers on highways and local roads.
"No matter how large a vehicle they operate, a driver's first responsibility is to operate safely," said Jan Skouby, MoDOT Motor Carrier Services director. "But defensive drivers go a step further. They look at the traffic around them and ask - are those drivers paying attention? If not, pay more attention to them. Can they see you? If not, be sure to make yourself visible."
Commercial vehicle drivers urge those who drive smaller vehicles to take extra care driving around trucks.
"Truck drivers watch traffic carefully - for your safety. A big truck can't make the same sudden moves and stops as a car and the blind spots are much larger," said Skouby. "In a situation that pits a car versus a large truck, truckers know the car is likely to get the worst of it."
Safety experts suggest a few simple techniques to use near trucks.
Pay attention to the driving task. Put down the phone, watch for signs and don't allow passengers to distract you. Their safety depends on your vigilance.
Don't hang out in the No-Zone - the areas around trucks where cars disappear into blind spots or are so close that they restrict the truck driver's ability to stop or maneuver safely.
Don't tailgate or cut into a truck's space - it reduces a truck's much needed breaking distance and restricts both your and the truck driver's evasive options.
Allow plenty of room behind, to the side and in front of a truck.
Use your headlights in inclement weather. Lights make cars more visible to truck drivers. A gray car against a gray highway on a gray, rainy day is hard to see.
All drivers, regardless of the type of vehicle, are encouraged to buckle up, mind the speed limit and pay attention to the driving task. That's the point of Operation Safe Driver Week - October 14-20 - drivers of big trucks and passenger vehicles respecting each other, paying attention and avoiding unsafe behavior that could result in a crash.
For more information about sharing the road safely, visit www.savemolives.com.