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AASHTO Journal

FMCSA Urges All Lane Users to Share the Road Safely in National Campaign

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is mounting a new effort to curb traffic crashes and raise public awareness about how motorists can operate safely around large trucks and buses, through a partnership under the "Our Roads, Our Safety" campaign that the FMCSA launched in 2016.

It said the American Bus Association, the AAA motor club and the American Trucking Associations have joined with the FMCSA to amplify the effort to educate all pedestrians, bicyclists, passenger vehicle drivers and drivers of commercial vehicles on how to better share our roads and improve safety for all.

FMCSA Deputy Administrator Daphne Jefferson said the agency "is pleased to work with a group of partners that are dedicated to safety and share our agency's goal of reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses on the road. This important partnership amplifies the message that all drivers on the roadway must work together to ensure that everyone arrives safely at their destinations."

capitol0816.jpgChris Spear, president of the trucking industry group, said: "ATA, through our 'Share the Road' highway safety program, has been educating the motoring public about safety for more than three decades, and we are excited to expand our partnership with FMCSA and other highway users."

He added that "the trucking industry is committed to reducing vehicle accidents, and to meet its safety goals, investing more than $9.5 billion on safety each year in the form of training, technology and developing safety messages like we've done in the Our Roads, Our Safety partnership."

The partnership includes a dedicated, multi-page FMCSA website that includes information on the stopping distances, blind spots and turning requirements of large trucks and buses, downloadable public service announcements and graphics plus social media content.

It also provides state-by-state data on highway crashes involving large trucks, and the 10 states with the most fatalities from crashes involving trucks and buses. It also has a video (below) on trucks' blind spots and how to pass large trucks.

The campaign focuses on making non-CMV drivers more aware of the differences the commercial vehicles face in fast-changing traffic conditions, but also provides tips to bicyclists and pedestrians.

For drivers of passenger vehicles, it says: "It's easy to think of all vehicles on the road simply as cars of varying sizes. However, in reality, trucks and buses are much more difficult to maneuver and have massive blind spots. Awareness of these differences, and some simple adjustments in driving behavior, can help all drivers keep the roads as safe as possible."

The agency in its press release said there "several simple actions passenger vehicle drivers should take while sharing the road with large trucks and buses."

Those include simply staying out of blind spots at the front, back and sides of the commercial vehicle, amd making sure motorists can see the CMV driver in his/her mirror before safely passing.

It also warns against cutting in close when merging in front of a CMV, since a heavy truck driving at 65 mph can take the lengths of two football fields to stop.

In addition to these tips, the campaign provides ways that parents and teachers can involve children aged 5-12 in highlighting the importance of road safety by participating in a Road Safety Art Contest.

Here is the campaign's video on how drivers of passenger cars can safely pass large trucks.  


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