“I’ve been a driver in the past. (Cars) just don’t understand, they always want to be in front of you, never behind you,” he said. “The biggest danger is them not understanding how (semi-trucks) operate: how far it takes them to stop, the blind spot directly behind them, how far they have to swing out when they make a turn.”
Wright said that although crash data is not ready yet, the Department of Public Safety is pleased with the results so far during the first wave of the program.
“It’s not just with the citations, (law enforcement) also issued a number of warnings to drivers to increase awareness that you need to leave more space before you cut back in on a truck, because they can’t stop as quickly as passenger cars,” Wright said.
Whisenant believes the program, along with continuing driving education in schools, is crucial for the continuing safety of Georgia drivers.
“The rate of commercial vehicles in the next few years is going to tremendously grow, and that means there are going to be more trucks out there,” he said. “You hope there aren’t going to be more accidents, but if we aren’t educating people how to drive around them than what are we looking for, what’s the future going to hold?”
Safe on the road
• Don’t cut off semi-trucks. For safety, when moving in front of a tractor trailer, allowing at least one car length for every 10 mph of speed is recommended.
• Don’t tailgate. Semi-trucks have big blind spots behind them and drivers who tailgate can’t see traffic in front of them in other lanes.
• Don’t speed. Speeding is a leading contributor in collisions.
• Allow plenty of room. Be careful when entering a highway or merging with traffic.