Share the Road visits USDOT

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Lifesaving highway driving tips were presented Thursday, April 23, by top professional truck drivers as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bring Your Child to Work Day activities. Elite million-mile accident-free drivers shared their message of highway safety with USDOT workers and their families, demonstrating how over the past decade alone, the large truck fatal crash rate dropped by 23 percent.

The American Trucking Associations, USDOT, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Share the Road sponsors, Mack Trucks and Michelin North America, joined the elite group of drivers — Jerry Charron (Con-way Freight), Ralph Garcia (ABF Freight System), Ben Saiz (ABF Freight) and Chris Serviss (Wal-Mart Transportation) — to discuss highway safety. “I’ve been a truck driver my entire life,” Charron says. “And I can tell you, safe highway driving has never been more important. With more traffic on the roads, we all need to slow down and use extra caution. Hopefully, sharing my experience here at the U.S. Department of Transportation will help save lives.”

Share the Road says the safety advice it presents is critical for motorists because:

  • In 2007, the large truck-involved injury crash rate fell to its lowest ever (USDOT);
  • Over the past decade alone, the large truck fatal crash rate dropped by 23 percent (USDOT);
  • 35 percent of all truck-involved highway fatalities occur in a truck’s blind spots (FMCSA); and
  • Up to 75 percent of all truck-involved fatalities are initiated unintentionally by car drivers (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety).
  • “Trucking is one of the largest industries in the United States, so it is important to teach cars and trucks how to co-exist safely on our highways,” says ATA Vice Chair Barbara Windsor. “Share the Road is a vital part of our efforts to make drivers aware of the blind spots around trucks, and help everyone make it home safely. It is great to have this important program here at the U.S. Department of Transportation to let these employees see our efforts.”

    At the truck safety demonstration, USDOT employees and their families were given a chance to see the road from the truck driver’s perspective. They viewed safe merging and stopping distances, and learned up close and personal 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, so that they arrive safely at their destinations.