What truck drivers wish you knew

It’s all about finding common ground, or common roadway since we share it everyday. Joe Lackey with the commercial vehicle driving program at FSCJ wishes drivers knew it can take a football field length or more to bring one of these 40-ton trucks to a stop. “So the way they buzz around trucks like little bees in front of these trucks, that is probably the most dangerous thing they do.

They don’t understand the space and time needed to start one or more importantly stop one,” Lackey said. The braking system is completely different than in cars. Trucks use air brakes, and cars cutting in front of them can lead to serious problems.

“Because if we hit them too much we are going to deplete the air and the brakes will lock up, we can jack knife or skid. Things like that,” he said. So that space in front of a truck is not meant for a car to cut in… it is meant to help them stop and not deplete the brakes.

So where is the safest place to drive around a truck? Definitely not the blind spot, not next to the driver’s door, not directly in front in case it can’t stop — those are sometimes called the No-zones. So actually the safest spot is behind the truck.

Of course, leaving a safe distance. And Joe really wishes drivers wouldn’t rush to judgment when sharing the roads with trucks. “Honestly when you see these big trucks you have to realize that these drivers are at work, they are not just out driving.

They are trained professionals going somewhere,” he said.

Because maybe a little understanding can lead to safer travels for us all

(C) 2017 WTLV-TV

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