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Being safe on the road with Big Trucks

Updated on July 25, 2012

The life of a Trucker (just a wee bit)

Being the wife of a truck driver there are a few things that the average person are not privy to, I will do my very best to share with you those things. If in the process I am able to save a life then I will consider that a ‘job well done’. Some of the things I will share with you may seem common sense, but face it folks, common sense has went out the window like yesterday’s trash.

Keep in mind that a trucker’s life may sound like loads of fun visiting 48 of the 50 States, going coast to coast, for the most part, it is not. Most States no longer appreciate the Truck’s so parking is just about nonexistent, unless of course it is your wish to live from truck stop to truck stop. Wee-haa, let’s just get some of those ready-made souvenir’s that are the same at each one. Oops, off the subject here.

Suffice it to say that if a trucker wants to visit anywhere he either has to bring his bicycle along or wait until he gets home to see some sights. It’s a job, it’s not glamorous. They go from point to point and hope at some point you are in the direction of home. They’ve missed out on just about all of their children’s events and if they’re lucky enough they have a wife at home who manages to keep it all together. Most women can’t handle having a husband who is never around; others get used to it and do just fine.

Getting our heads together

The most common truck on the road is called a ‘dry van’ it hauls everything from toilet paper, to lawn mowers, computers and beyond. It the State I live in the maximum weight allowed to be hauled is 80,000 pounds. That is 40 tons. No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of weight. There are also bigger trucks and trailers as well as refers (refrigerated units).

Our Country couldn’t make it without the Truckers, the shelves in our stores would be empty in a matter of days, and gas stations would have no gas. In a sense we would come to a screeching halt if the wheels stopped rolling. Those little step vans that you see moving items do so because of the truckers. Everything you use, see, touch and feel is attributed to the life of a trucker. Yes, the trains could haul from place to place but the Trucks get it from the train depot and make deliveries. Even the shipping ports need the trucks, those big boxes that come from other countries are loaded on to a truck bed and moved from place to place by a truck.

Now that we are all on the same page and understand that those trucks are not trying to get in your way, that they are there making your life just a little bit easier, let’s move on.

PAY ATTENTION!!

We all have to share the road; truckers know this more than anyone else. Keep in mind that a fully loaded truck takes a bit of time to get up to speed; common sense should tell you that it also takes time to slow down. Getting in front of a truck because you think you are in a bigger hurry than anyone else only to slam on your brakes in a half a mile is not only a stupid move, but dangerous as well.

When you behave dangerously on the road you are not only putting yourself in danger but those who share the road with you are in peril. PAY ATTENTION when you are driving, it’s that simple.

Things you may not know

There are also a few things that you may not know.

1. If you cannot see trucks mirrors – the driver CANNOT see you.

2. It is fine to pass a truck on the highway, just get a going! DO NOT hang by the tires, that is very dangerous! Those tires could blow, in the process it would blow out your windows quite possibly causing an accident. Debris could fly up and hit your window injuring you or your passenger. The driver would never know.

3. Playing games with a truck because they pissed you off is dumb. What is bigger the truck or your vehicle? Slamming on your brakes because you are mad may only cause your car to be compacted in a manner you will not like.

4. Bottle necking causes traffic jams. Pay attention to your surroundings, when you see a sign that says “Left lane closed 2 miles ahead” Do the smart thing and get in the right lane, don’t speed up trying to pass everyone only to try and slip in at the last possible moment. That is a bottle neck and can cause an accident.

5. It’s really hard to pass an accident and not look, but slowing down to a crawl just to see blood and gore is just wrong and can cause an accident. Just move along with the flow of traffic and be glad it’s not you.

6. Reading and driving? Oh for cripes sake!! If it’s that important put it on a CD and listen to it.

7. Talking on the phone. Yes, it does affect your driving. I promise. You slow down and do not do the speed limit you have a hard time keeping it between the lines. It is noticed.

8. Texting and driving – refer to number 6, it’s the same thing.

9. When the signs say “Trucks keep to the right” this means they are not allowed in the furthest lane that is for you. Use it.

10. In some States the speed limits for trucks are different from that of passenger vehicles, do not get angry at them for not going as fast as you are, the law prohibits it.

Just for fun!

Trucker talk –

When a truck passes you and wants to get in front of you, flash your lights to let him/her know they have cleared your vehicle and it is safe to come back into the lane. They may respond by flashing their ‘marker’ lights or turn signal as a way of saying ‘Thank you’.

Let's be Safe out there!!

In talking with my husband he has very few pet peeve’s when it comes to those on the road. Safety is his main concern and he just asks that those with whom he shares the road with are safe and behave in a safe manner. Keep in mind the few safety tips and remember that we all have to share the road, no one is better than the other. The truckers are doing you a service; in return they ask that you show a little consideration for those on the road.

Comments

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    • profile image

      IntegrityYes 

      6 years ago

      She certainly did. Rock on,Susie. I voted up!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You made some excellent points.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR

      Sweetsusieg 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      When I was much younger and of course less wiser I would ride with my hubby as often as having a sitter allowed. I would get on the CB and chat with the other drivers, if I saw a cr doing something stupid I might have said something to the effect of "run 'em over, you're bigger than they are!!" The response was invariably the same "Now, now don't go picken on them 4 wheelers, they don't know no better" I was amazed then and still am at the patience of the truckers out there, putting up with the "I'm in a big hurry and you're in my way" drivers.

      In Michigan they do include some of the 'road rules' involving truck but I don't think they emphasize on it as much as it could be done. There are so many trucks on the road and last I heard they were in need of 250,000 more drivers Country wide.

      I will certainly let him know of your admiration!! Beware, now that he knows you admire him he might get ta flirtin' with ya!!! LOL

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      This is so comprehensive, suzie, your take on truckers and the rules of the road should be included in every Driving Manual given to new drivers ... and old drivers, too.

      I'm particularly aware of the rule about not 'hanging' by the truck's tires. I once saw a very large truck lose a tire that rolled across the expressway just ahead of me. I was lucky not to have been hit by it.

      It takes a special person to be a safe trucker. You can tell hubby I admire him.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR

      Sweetsusieg 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Absolutely you may link! It's a very scary thing for a trucker to see a car hovering around the rear tire area. A gust of wind (remember that is a wall going down the road) could throw the trailer into a car as well.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • FreezeFrame34 profile image

      FreezeFrame34 

      6 years ago from Charleston SC

      Very nice reminders.

      I've noticed the flashing of the lights on my drives on I-77 and I-95. Being courteous on the road is always nice!

      I've been hit by a tire bursting while passing a truck; scary thing; you're right about passing quickly!

      Can I link my article on motorcycle safety to yours?

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