CAUTION IS NECESSARY WHEN SHARING THE ROAD WITH TRUCKS

Sharing the road with large trucks on a busy Tennessee highway can be a daunting task for any driver. Motorists, however, may not realize that it is difficult for truck drivers as well, since their vehicles are much larger and therefore, more difficult to handle. Failure by car drivers to recognize this difference can lead to dangerous driving conditions and devastating crashes. In fact, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance reports that 70 percent of crashes involving both a truck and a passenger car are the fault of the car driver and not the truck driver.

One of the items that motorists should keep in mind is that tractor trailers require a much longer distance in order to come to a complete stop. Therefore, it is important to give trucks plenty of room when sharing the road with them. If passing a truck becomes necessary, it is important that the motorists always use a turn signal so the trucker knows what he or she intends to do.

Additionally, because of their length, trucks have a longer turning radius and thus make much wider turns than cars. It is a good idea to always be aware of a truck's location as it approaches an intersection, as the trucker may be positioning the truck for such a turn.

While truckers do have side mirrors to help them out, they do not have the benefit of a rearview mirror the way smaller trucks and cars do, to see what is around and behind them. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that some large vehicles, such as trucks a buses, have blind spots so big that cars around them virtually disappear. Therefore, truckers may not be aware of a car next to them, even though the car is probably very aware of the truck's presence. These blind spots are referred to as No-Zones. Motorists should take care to avoid traveling in a truck's No-Zone. A good rule of thumb for drivers to remember is that if they cannot see the trucker, the trucker cannot see them either.

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