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Truck and Highway Safety

Quiz: Safely Sharing the Road with Trucks?

Young drivers, and everyone else for that matter, are often confused about how to safely share the road with large trucks. Unfortunately, this confusion shows, as 70 to 75 percent of all truck-related auto fatalities are caused by car drivers, according to AAA and the Department of Transportation. Additionally, 35 percent of those fatal accidents occur when car drivers find themselves in a truck's blind spot. Safe highway merging and stopping distances are essential for highway driving. For a quick refresher, or to quiz your knowledge on truck safety, consider the following questions.

Where is the largest blind spot on a large truck?
Answer: The right side of the truck. If possible, avoid passing a truck on the right side.

True or False: Big trucks have more tires and larger brakes so they can stop faster than smaller vehicles.

Answer: False. It takes a fully loaded truck traveling 60 mph the length of a football field to come to a safe stop.

How many lives could be saved by staying out of trucks' blind spots?

Answer: Approximately 1,300 lives per year in the United States are lost in crashes where vehicles are in a truck's blind spot. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 35 percent of all fatal accidents with large trucks occur in trucks' blind spots.

What is a safe traveling distance for a car when following a truck on the highway?

Answer: Stay at least 20 to 25 car lengths behind the truck so that you have time to react to any changes in the road ahead including debris, accidents or slow downs. Also, keep the trucks' mirrors in your sight at all times.

True or False: Truck-involved fatal accidents have decreased over the past five years.

Answer: True. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities in crashes involving large trucks have decreased every year since 1997 despite more trucks and cars being on the road than ever in the United States.

For more information on truck safety, visit Share the Road.