My Grandfather was a truck driver. Casey Graham was ornery, Irish-American and a big drinker. Which wouldn’t go over well the current commercial driver license requirements . Back in those days, in wasn’t uncommon to see a truck driver traveling two days with no sleep. Or, in my Grandfather Casey’s case, with a hangover to boot, but not anymore. There are many restrictions on truck drivers now. They can only drive a limited number of hours in a day. And, they have to keep a meticulous driving log. If they get a ticket of any kind, even in their own vehicle, they cannot take a defensive driving class. So, the violation goes on their driving record. And, after a few of those violations, no one will hire them. It’s also a Federal law that they cannot text and drive. If they get caught, the fine is around $3,000.00. But, fair enough, that’s a big piece of machinery that could take out a lot of families in one fell swoop. All this seems strict and rigid, but there are over 500,000 accidents involving a truck and other trucks or other vehicles each year, with approximately 5,000 fatalities as a result. That means that every 16 minutes, approximately, in this country, someone is either injured or killed in an accident with a truck. So, it’s good to be alert and cautious when sharing the road with trucks.
Driving alongside an eighteen-wheeler is very dangerous. If one of those eighteen wheels blows, the tread from a truck tire, along with its steel belts could easily take your windshield out and possibly remove your head as well. That is not a good look for anyone. Here, we call that a “Jane Mansfield.” They call the blown out tire tread an “alligator.” And we all know that alligators bite!
Driving too closely behind an eighteen-wheeler is also a big “please don’t.” Just like the sticker on the back of the truck states “If you can’t see my side mirrors…I can’t see you.”
These two issues stated above are due to the large size of trucks causing blind spots, also known as “no-zones.”
And, when you are wanting to move over a lane, it’s not cool to whip over in front of an eighteen-wheeler…and we all have done this. There’s always a big space in front of that tractor-trailer for a good reason. It takes one nine times longer to stop than it does for a car to stop. One can weigh up to thirty times as much as a passenger vehicle. So, if you’re in the habit of whipping in front of an eighteen-wheeler, you’re Honda Accord could become a Honda Accordion.
So play it safe around eighteen-wheelers. Know what you’re dealing with. Try to be better about sharing the road with trucks. And be courteous to those poor truckers. That’s a big machine that they’re responsible for.
Until next week…
Comedienne / Writer / Airhead Savant
Sharing The Road With Trucks – Comedy Defensive Driving