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Road safety is incredibly important, and everyone on the road should be taking the precautions necessary to make us all safe. One bad move and the ripple effects will be felt immediately. Luckily, truck drivers have advance knowledge when it comes to safety. On top of having a regular driver’s license, truck drivers also have to get their commercial driver’s license (CDL) in order to get on the road. This includes a hefty amount of training that includes safety lessons to ensure that the truck driver can properly navigate the roads with other drivers around.

As truck drivers get the proper education to keep the other vehicles on the road in mind, it should also be up to us regular drivers to be aware and mindful of our truck neighbors on the road. Though we all are following the same rules of the road, the different capabilities of each vehicle presents different challenges that make every driving experience different.

Watch out for that following distance

One important thing we can do to stay safe is to understand why trucks are always maintaining a wider following distance than what we are accustomed to following. It all has to do with braking distance. At highway speeds, trucks require a braking distance that can be 100-200 feet longer than the average motor vehicle. Please be aware the next time you are changing lanes in front of a truck, because if you are too close, they may have to slam their brakes, holding up traffic behind them and potentially contribute to an accident. Just think, if no one has to slam their breaks, the flow of traffic will continue as is and everyone will arrive at their destination safely.

It’s all about road conditions

In times of wet weather conditions (rain & snow), all vehicles lose a bit of traction on their tires, which increases braking distances. Combine the already long braking distances with wet road conditions, and you can only imagine how long it will take a truck to come to a complete stop.

The same standards apply for merging onto the highway. Trucks are usually very cognizant and will slow down at merging areas to let other cars in and decrease their braking distance. However, if there’s ever a truck that is running parallel to you as you’re merging, it’s probably best for everyone’s safety that you slow down and let the truck pass right by.

This is the first in a series of blog posts we are sending out to put a spotlight on road safety. Check out the second and third posts in this series here.

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