NPR logo Sharing The Road

Sharing The Road

Today's road safety show — trucking. It's nerve wracking to share the road with a big ol' semi — even the car feels different when you're drafting off of an eighteen wheeler. But given that almost all the stuff you know and love — Oranges! Livestock! Televisions! You name it! — has to get delivered by truck one way or another, you'd better get used to it. Truckers are trying very hard to protect you, and to protect themselves on the road, but they can't do it alone. So when you're driving alongside a big rig today, give them a wave (they could have been driving for up to 11 hours!), and follow these tips. (For more, click here.) You've heard them before, but take them seriously — over 4,000 fatalities last year involved trucks.

1) Stay far enough behind the truck that you can see the whole road clearly.
2) You know that sign, "If you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you?" NOT KIDDING. Position yourself so you can make sure the truck driver sees you. Plus, it's friendlier!
3) At night, don't use brights (I know, duh). But they can blind the driver.
4) Stay super far behind if it's raining so you don't get blinded by mud and rain.
5) It takes several football fields' length for a truck to stop. REMEMBER THAT. Cutting in front of a semi is very dangerous.
6) Speaking of speed, Increase your speed to pass a truck on a downhill grade. Trucks travel faster downhill and slower uphill because of their weight.
7) If a truck passes you, let the driver know he has passed you by blinking your headlights, especially at night. The driver will appreciate knowing he is now safe to move back in front of you.
8) Sit down, and give thanks for all the stuff on your Thanksgiving table that got there by truck.