Ever busier interstates and increasingly distracted drivers have placed the importance of traffic safety prominently on a national stage. More specifically, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has highlighted the need for caution among semitruck drivers, pointing out the occurrence of 3,346 injuries in accidents involving large trucks on Illinois highways in 2016.
The FMCSA also noted that sizable vehicles transported more than half of all U.S. freight the previous year, emphasizing the widespread significance of trucking safety and awareness that weighs heavily on the industry. What can truckers do to reduce their chances of becoming FMCSA statistics?
Drivers should first stay aware. Paying attention to surroundings, travel patterns, work zones and other environmental factors will go a long way toward improving safety on the road. Becoming familiar with the ebb and flow of specific regions is easiest when driving a routinely assigned route, but even on unfamiliar runs, staying cognizant of changes in speed and traffic flow may prevent seemingly unavoidable mishaps.
Truckers should also extend patience to those in the small cars they share interstates with. Acknowledging their own advantage in size and weight can contribute to a healthy awareness of the intimidation motorists in compact vehicles may feel riding alongside them. Since responsibility rests heaviest on the more powerful of the two, truck operators would do well to slow down, giving their smaller counterparts the necessary time and distance for safe maneuvering.
As for the nontruckers out there, recognizing that long haulers are carrying the majority of transported U.S. cargo is an important step in sharing the road well with them. They move goods to, from, and throughout Illinois day and night, so semitruck drivers will benefit greatly when given plenty of space to get their jobs done.