Highway Trooper Calls Out Motorists For Major Cause of Big Rig-Involved Crashes
Oklahoma City, OK – An Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) trooper took to social media on Tuesday to school motorists on how to safely drive around big rigs.
In a Twitter post, OHP Trooper Eric Foster said he responds to “a lot of commercial vehicle crashes” that could be avoided if motorists properly respected tractor-trailers.
“As I’m rolling around right now I see that cars are cutting in and out of traffic in between these semi-trucks that have to leave a lot more distance to be able to stop,” Trooper Foster said. “You gotta realize that they weigh upwards of 85,000 pounds and they need more room to stop than a normal vehicle does.”
OHP Tip Tuesday: Trooper Eric Foster discusses the precautions drivers should take around semis on the highway. pic.twitter.com/cIdX4ojX9V
— OK Highway Patrol/DPS (@OHPDPS) March 9, 2021
Most truckers are well aware that studies show the overwhelming majority of crashes involving big rigs and passenger vehicles are the fault of the driver of the passenger vehicle, not the trucker.
For instance, a 2013 Michigan Transportation Research Institute study of accidents involving big rigs and passenger vehicles revealed motorists were at-fault in 81 percent of the crashes reviewed.
In 2019, during a hearing before the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, then-Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Ray Martinez, attempted to dispel the myth that truckers were causing the majority of large truck-involved crashes.
“Multiple studies and data indicate most large truck-involved crashes are the result of driver behaviors and errors,” Martinez stated. “It further indicates that other motorists, not professional truck drivers, are more likely to be at-fault.”
Based on what Trooper Foster sees each day, it sounds like he can attest to this reality as well.
“So, if you cut in between that gap that they leave [then] you cut down their stopping distance. If you do that, and you have to stop very quickly, [then] you could be involved in a serious crash,” Trooper Foster warned.
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The dangerous driving habits of the motoring public are not only endangering them, but are also coming at a great cost to the professional driving community.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, trucker crash deaths rose to a 31-year high in 2019.
For the sake of everyone’s safety while traveling on America’s roadways, let’s hope motorists take Trooper Foster’s advice to heart.
Photo courtesy California Highway Patrol