I just can’t wait to get on the road again!  Let me tell you why: as I am working my way down the list of “dangerous jobs”, truck drivers have one of the highest fatality rates among risky occupations.  Truck driving statistics show that 30 out of every 100,000 drivers die each year.  This statistic includes those driving buses and other large vehicles, as well.

So, the next time I drive down the highway, I will be more careful than usual.  My reason: reports show that many of the accidents that trucks are involved in are caused by other drivers’ recklessness.  Seventy per cent of truckers who crash do so because someone else got in their way.

The FMCSA has a “Share the Road Safely” website that explains how car drivers, motorcycle riders, and other vehicles can make our highways safer by creating a better highway situation with the larger vehicles on the roads.

Here are some of their suggestions:

  • Pay attention to the road. Stay off your cell phone.
  • When passing a truck, don’t pull in front of the truck until you can see it in your rear view mirror.
  • Do not misjudge the truck’s speed at an intersection.
  • Don’t drive between trucks.
  • When you pull into oncoming traffic and see a truck coming, be sure you have room to accelerate sufficiently.
  • Realize that when you are involved in a crash with a large truck, your chances of survival are low.
  • Be careful when you see a truck is making a right turn.  It needs more space to complete the turn.  Most trucks have that warning sticker on the back of the truck.
  • Trucks have “No Zones”, areas behind and beside the truck where the driver has limited or zero visibility.  You must be aware of this and keep yourself at a safe distance.

Big trucks are very intimidating.  Maneuvering those large vehicles can’t be easy; have you ever looked inside an 18-wheeler? The instrument panels and controls are pretty scary to a novice.  Most truck drivers are very skilled and extremely patient.  But when they need to stop their vehicle, it takes more time than a car.  That is why you must not risk causing them to have to stop abruptly.

There are many other reasons that truck drivers experience accidents: inadequate training, not enough sleep, fatigue, driving at night, and dangerous driving conditions, such as inclement weather.  Truck drivers are required to follow the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, which designates the HoS (hours of service) they may drive within each shift.

The next time you go to the store, think about how many different types of trucks brought the goods that you need for your family.  Let’s help them “keep on truckin” by driving safely ourselves!