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Traffic Safety:

Safety Facts About Large Trucks

Ready to cut off that 18 wheeler right at the last minute?  I hope you have a really big car.  The average passenger car weighs in at about 4,000 lbs. or less. Most trucks are working trucks which means they are full, weighing in at about 80,000 lbs.  20 times your vehicles weight.  Yeah, yeah, yeah you say.

Let's put this in another example.  Imagine you were a man or woman weighing in at about 160 lbs.  If you were a truck, a car would be the same as a gallon of milk.  How far can you throw a gallon of milk?  Trucks, busses, anything that huge will simply eat a car.  If you touch their tires your car will go flying, and they will keep rolling.  A truck or bus can actually hit another car, and not even know it!  

Percentage wise very few professional drivers on 4 wheels are on the road.  Being able to drive faster than others is not a qualification to be a  professional driver, responsibility is.  The worlds greatest race car drivers  know one key factor the rookies have yet to learn.  You can't win the race if you don't finish the course, and if you can't figure that out your to young to drive a car.

Here are some facts from the NHSTA year 2004.  Information is based on trucks weighing in at 10,000+.

  • 4,862 were involved in fatal crashes.
  • 5,190 people died, 116,000 injured.
  • 1 out of 8 fatalities involved a large truck.
  • 77% of the fatalities were the occupants of another vehicle (Not the truck).
  • Only 1% of the truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol level concentration of .08 or higher, while 22% of the the other vehicles involved in the cash were higher than .08.
  • California ranked the highest with most fatalities, followed by Texas.

When passing a truck allow plenty of room to merge back. Do not take your time passing him.  Do it with intent to pass, and quickly.  Both truck headlights should appear in your rearview mirror before merging back.  It takes a long time for a truck to regain speed if he has to hit the brakes for you.

Information provided by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration