The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is launching a new highway safety campaign dubbed “Our Roads, Our Responsibility” that seeks to “raise public awareness” about how to operate safely around commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).
Nearly 12 million CMVs are registered to operate in the U.S., logging around 300 billion miles on the nation’s roads in 2014, the agency noted. And since large trucks and buses have significant size and weight differences - along with large blind spots, longer stopping distances, and limited maneuverability - they present serious safety challenges for bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers of passenger vehicles.
“Trucks and buses move people and goods around the country, contributing to our economic wellbeing and our way of life,” noted Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary, in statement. “These commercial vehicles also carry additional safety risks, so it’s critical that all road users understand how to safely share the road.”
FMCSA Administrator Scott Darling added that the new campaign supports his agency’s “core mission” of reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving CMVs.
“Roadway safety is a shared responsibility, and this initiative encourages everyone who uses our roads to be champions for safety,” he said in a statement “We look forward to working with all our partners to raise awareness around this issue.”
Some of the driving tips FMCSA suggests include:
- Stay out of the “no zones” or blind spots around the front, back and sides of the vehicle;
- Pass safely and make sure you can see the driver in the mirror before passing;
- Don’t cut it close while merging in front of a CMV;
- Anticipate wide turns and consider larger vehicles may require extra turning room;
- Stay focused on the road around you and avoid distraction;
- Be patient driving around large trucks and buses.