The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Safety Program Addresses Preventing Accidents With Large Trucks

June 28, 2007

FARGO, N.D. --- Top professional truck drivers and safety experts presented life-saving safety tips here yesterday, as part of the American Trucking Associations' national Share the Road highway safety tour. Around three-quarters of all truck-involved fatalities are unintentionally initiated by car drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. About 35 percent of all truck-involved highway fatalities occur in a truck's blind spots. According to the North Dakota Department of Transportation, traffic fatalities in the state have increased over 30 percent since 1996, making highway safety tips all the more relevant. The American Trucking Associations, North Dakota Motor Carriers Association, AAA North Dakota, North Dakota State Police and the Share the Road sponsors --- Mack Trucks and Michelin North America --- joined the elite group of drivers to discuss highway safety with North Dakota motorists. The Share the Road stop in Fargo demonstrated to drivers how to share the road safely with large trucks. "When the summer rolls around we tend to see a significant increase in highway traffic," said Dennis Day, a professional truck driver from Con-way Freight. "With more motorists on the road, safe driving habits become all the more important. That's why we're out here today --- to educate the public and make us all a little safer." The event featured professional truck drivers Steve Fields (Yellow Transportation), Dennis Day (Con-way Freight) and Ralph Garcia (ABF Freight Systems). Those drivers are members of an elite team of million-mile, accident-free truck drivers who deliver the trucking industry's safety messages across the country. "Share the Road allows me as a truck driver to give people life-saving advice," Fields said. "Most automobile drivers were never taught what they can do to avoid an accident with a tractor-trailer. By being aware of the blind spots around trucks, all drivers can more easily avoid crashes. This information, and other safety advice, will help everyone to share the roads safely." Following the safety demonstration at the Holiday Inn Fargo, reporters and photographers were given tractor-trailer rides on I-29 and I-94. From the truck driver's perspective they viewed safe merging and stopping distances, and learned up-close some of the differences between how cars and large trucks operate on the highways. The demonstration was designed to teach specific skills in order for motorists to drive safely around other automobiles and around trucks on the highways.
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