Safety-Related Public Service Announcements Be ready, be buckled! (mp3) Granny Trucker says, Chain Up! (mp3) Safety Brochures
The Motor Carrier Transportation Division has produced three safety-related brochures to draw motorists' attention to blind spots around trucks and to draw truckers' attention to dangerous downgrades on Oregon's highways. Truck Zone -
Learn about safely sharing the road with trucks. There are four “No Zones” that every truck has and that every automobile driver should avoid:
• Left side just behind the cab
• Right side just behind the cab
• Too close in front
• Too close in back
Your car is invisible in the “No Zones.” That means trouble if the truck driver does not know you are there and tries to change lanes or has to stop suddenly. To stay out of these four “No Zones,” make your car visible -- either pull ahead or drop back so the truck driver can see you. Remember, if you cannot see the truck driver’s mirrors, he or she probably cannot see you. Siskiyou Pass -
The Siskiyou Pass, commonly called “The Siskiyous,” is a very hazardous part of Interstate 5 in Southern Oregon. The summit is at an elevation of 4,310 feet and going down involves losing about 2,300 feet of that in six miles at a 6% downgrade. There are sharp curves and this area is plagued by fog and chilly temperatures that make for some of the most hazardous visibility and road surface conditions in Oregon. More than 13,000 vehicles travel this stretch of highway daily and trucks are involved in about half of all accidents that occur here. Emigrant Hill -
Emigrant Hill, commonly called “Cabbage Hill,” is a very hazardous part of Interstate 84, west of La Grande in Eastern Oregon. This hill experiences some of the most changeable and severe weather conditions in the Northwest. Visibility is often limited and road surfaces are often icy. To get down Cabbage Hill, truckers lose about 2,000 feet of elevation in six miles and twist through a double hair pin turn at a 6% downgrade. More than 90% of the Cabbage Hill crashes involve out-of-state motor carriers!
Read more about a Downhill Speed Information System
that helps truckers survive the trip down Emigrant Hill. Operation Safe Driver -
In October 2007, safety officials across the country marked the first Operation Safe Driver week and joined together for various activities to shine a spotlight on commercial driver safety. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), sponsored the event and set “Increasing Driver Performance through Enforcement and Education” as the theme. It's all part of ongoing efforts to improve commercial and non-commercial driver behavior and performance through enforcement, education, and awareness strategies. CVSA notes that in the 141,000 truck crashes examined in FMCSA’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study, commercial vehicle performance, recognition, and decision factors accounted for 88% of the critical reasons for the crashes.
Here are some safe driving tips from an Operation Safe Driver brochure: What car drivers need to know about trucks and buses
Truck and bus drivers will tell you many stories about being cut-off or passed by a car and the car driver proceeds to put on their brakes or dash to the next exit. You never hear of the near misses, accidents that ALMOST happened, on the local or national news – yet EVERYONE has their own story about this. And it’s not what you drive around big trucks and buses that matters, it’s HOW you drive.
If we could put every member of the public in a truck or bus for a day, there would be a lot more awareness and a lot less crashes. But since we can’t do that, get familiar with the following eight keys to keeping safe around big rigs. One or all of these could save your life.
What truck drivers need to know about car drivers
- Never cut in front of a truck. A fully loaded truck can take 400 feet (more than the length
of a football field) to stop and the odds are that you or someone driving next to you
could be killed as a result of your driving.
- Keep a safety cushion around trucks. Try to leave a 10-car length gap when in front of a truck and 20-25 car lengths when behind a truck. An average passenger car traveling at 55 miles per hour takes about 130 to 140 feet to stop.
- Never linger alongside a truck. Cars can momentarily “disappear” from view due to blind spots.
- Pass trucks quickly to increase visibility and reduce dangers associated with lingering beside a truck.
- Only change lanes when you can see both of the truck’s headlights in your rearview mirror.
- If possible, pass a truck on the left, not on the right, because the truck’s blind spot on the right runs the length of the trailer and extends out three lanes.
- Check a truck’s mirrors. If you are following a truck and you cannot see the driver’s face
in the truck’s side mirrors, the truck driver cannot see you.
- Allow trucks adequate space to maneuver. Trucks make wide turns at intersections and
require additional lanes to turn.
As a professional driver you face a lot of stress and pressure each day just trying to do your job, maneuvering through congested highways with aggressive car drivers darting around you and everyone in a rush to get where they're going because time is money.
It may make you want to gamble a bit by taking unnecessary risks. But your risk goes up exponentially for each violation you receive. The seriousness of violations is more than monetary, unless you’re willing to pay with your life. And we’re not just talking about your life. When you gamble, you're also gambling your family’s future and the future of many innocent others. Don’t take that gamble; it’s just not worth the risk.
- Pre-inspect the condition of your vehicle before and check for load securement. Maximize the vision around your truck with properly adjusted mirrors. Be sure your mirrors are properly set and clean.
- Get in a safe mindset!
- Buckle up! It is your last line of defense!
- 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. Slow down in bad weather and at construction zones.
- Maintain a safe following distance. Follow other vehicles at a safe distance (3-5 second rule).
- Make only safe and necessary lane changes. Pick a lane and stay in it for as long as possible. Lane changes increase one’s risk of an accident.
- Focus on your driving, not the distractions! Avoid or minimize in-truck distractions such as cell phone use, changing CDs, eating, or other activities that can remove your attention from the road.
- Never drive under the influence! Watch out for other motorists whose driving behavior suggests they may have been drinking.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation and fatigue can cause lapses in attention, slowed awareness, and impaired judgment.