JEFFERSON CITY – Since 2013, the number of fatal crashes involving commercial motor vehicles (CMV) has steadily risen each year – from 84 in 2013 to a preliminary 119 in 2016. This year’s Commercial Motor Vehicle Awareness campaign will remind Missouri motorists to drive safely around CMVs to help bring these numbers down. It will also remind big rig drivers to obey speed limits, avoid distractions and buckle up.
Commercial motor vehicles are an important part of our nation’s economy and have a large presence on our highways. While CMVs do contribute to some traffic crashes, research shows that too many drivers of passenger cars unnecessarily endanger themselves due to inattention or reckless driving around these large vehicles.
“There are many things drivers can do to make sure everyone is safe when traveling around big trucks,” said Bill Whitfield, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. “Paying attention is the first step.”
Other steps to driving safely around CMVs include:
Staying out of the blind spots or “No Zones” of big rigs, and only passing on their left side.If you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, its driver can’t see you.
Not cutting off large trucks after passing – make sure both headlights can be seen in your rearview mirror before moving back into the driving lane.
Using your turn signals to alert other drivers of your intentions to change lanes or exit the highway.
Putting your phone down – focus on the road.
Wearing your safety belt – when utilized correctly, it can reduce the risk of moderate-to-critical or fatal injuries by 50 percent.
For additional information on roadway safety, or other transportation-related topics, contact the MoDOT Customer Service Center toll free at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636). For more information on the Commercial Motor Vehicle Campaign, visit www.saveMOlives.com.