For professional truck drivers, the highway is our workplace. Maintaining a safe workplace allows us earn a living and return home to our families safe and sound. Sharing the road with unpredictable and often distracted car drivers can be frustrating and annoying, not to mention hazardous.
Trucks Aren’t Cars
Most car drivers don’t realize that trucks aren’t just great big cars. Significant differences in physical structure, mechanics and load/weight ratios force semi trucks to behave far differently than cars in similar highway situations. Yet auto drivers rarely take those differences into account as they zip along the highway, cutting in and out of traffic. A truck driver’s failure to avoid a collision with a car usually has less to do with his driving skills and plenty to do with the laws of physics.
Share the Road
Since we all have to share the road, we’d like to share some road safety tips semi driver Ron Hawkins, Jr. offered the Toledo Blade. The owner of K-Limited Carrier, Ltd., Ron has remained accident-free over a driving career spanning 30 years and 2 million miles.
Ron’s two biggest complaints: distracted drivers and lack of highway courtesy.
Ron’s Top Road Safety Tips
- Always pass tractor-trailers on the left. A semi’s left-side blind spot is smaller than the one on its right side which can be four lanes wide. “If you cannot see the driver’s face in the mirror, he cannot see you at all,” Ron warns.
- When passing or cutting into a lane, give big rigs plenty of room. “Don’t get back into the lane until you can see both my headlights in your rearview mirror,” Ron advises. When you move back into the lane, don’t slow down. Stopping a loaded tractor-trailer can take more than 360 feet — the equivalent of a football field plus both end zones.
TruckerToTrucker wants to hear from you. Click the post to add your safety tips to our list.