Highway Ready: How Commercial Drivers Can Improve Road Safety

Who is Really at Fault Here?

There are certainly reasons a commercial vehicle driver might be responsible for a crash. Hauling loads for long hours can lead to fatigue or distracted daydreaming, weather conditions may make driving difficult, and the uncertain nature of roadways sometimes present unavoidable circumstances. However, when a truck and a passenger vehicle crash, the fault typically lies with the driver of the small automobile rather than the large truck. In fact, law enforcement officers report this instance in over 60 percent of fatal collisions.[1]Currently, the United States sees around 200,000 crashes involving passenger cars and commercial vehicles, and many of these could be avoided if passenger vehicles followed simple safety guidelines.[2]

For example, it’s important to remember that commercial vehicles don’t operate in quite the same way as your standard automobile. Since they are so large, they also have large blind spots, often called “no zones.” It’s best to assume that if you can’t see the driver in their outside windows, they probably cannot see you. Also, use low-beam headlights when following a truck and try to maintain a four-second gap between it and your automobile.

Staying Educated

There many public awareness programs that help keep drivers aware of common challenges, and the importance of following safety guidelines when driving near commercial vehicles. Trucker Buddy International[3], for example, pairs background checked drivers with students in grades K-8 to be pen pals, as well as arranging events with Scouting groups, special needs classes and Boys and Girls Club locations to educate students on highway safety.

There is also Operation Safe Drivers’ Teens and Trucks Program[4] which educates students on how driving large trucks or buses differs from standard cars. It also gives professional drivers a way to educate students on the dangers of distracted driving from firsthand experiences. Through these programs, drivers of commercial vehicles can make a significant difference for those in their communities.

Leading By Example

At Bauer Built, we work hard to provide drivers with the tires they need to get to their destination. But safe driving goes beyond just the right equipment. Buckling up, following posted signs, avoiding texting and driving, not driving while sleepy and being aware of surrounding vehicles are all crucial to maintaining safe highways for everyone on the road. Commercial vehicle drivers can play a big role in making this happen, through community programs or simply leading by example. To see what makes Bauer Built a trusted partner for professional driving fleets, visit bauerbuilt.com today!

[1] https://ntsi.com/quick-links/safety-articles/truck-safety/

[2] https://ntsi.com/quick-links/safety-articles/truck-safety/

[3] http://truckerbuddy.org/

[4] https://cvsa.org/program/programs/operation-safe-driver/teens-and-trucks/

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