When driving around commercial motor vehicles, cutting it close can cut your life short. Operation Safe Driver Week, Oct. 21-28, 2007, brings awareness to the importance of commercial motor vehicle safety and all passenger vehicles driving around them.
Highway crashes related to large trucks account for 12 percent of the total fatal crashes in the United States. In Missouri, the objective of the week is a public awareness campaign to educate commercial vehicle drivers and others about the importance of safe driving and proper driving techniques.
Participating agencies include the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Kansas City Police Department, St. Louis City Police Department and the Missouri Department of Transportation.
There are several important tips for motorists driving around commercial trucks or buses:
· Get in a safe mindset.
· Never cut in front of a truck. A fully loaded truck can take 400 feet to stop.
· Keep a safety cushion around trucks. Try to leave 10 car lengths when in front of a truck and 20-25 car lengths when behind a truck.
· Never linger alongside a truck and risk "disappearing" from their vision due to blind spots.
· Only change lanes when you can see both of the truck's headlights in your rearview mirror.
It is also important for truck drivers to remember the following tips:
· Pre-inspect the condition of your vehicle before travel and make sure your load is secure.
· Maximize the vision around your truck with properly adjusted mirrors; be sure mirrors are properly set and clean.
· Focus on driving, not distractions.
· Obey speed limits and traffic signs. Excessive speed reduces your ability to avoid a crash, extends your vehicle's stopping distance, and increases the severity of a crash when it occurs.
· Make only safe and necessary lane changes. Missouri law requires vehicles to drive in the right lane unless passing.
· Buckle Up - it's your best defense in a crash.
For more information, please visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov
. Buckle Up to Arrive Alive.