August 15, 2016 1:45 AM, EDT

FMCSA Prompts Drivers to Look Out for Trucks

This story appears in the Aug. 15 print edition of Transport Topics.

The country’s top truck safety agency is reminding motorists to check for blind spots and to distance their cars from commercial vehicles during their commutes as the busy summer traveling season wraps up.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Aug. 11 launched the “Our Roads, Our Responsibility” campaign to promote awareness of large vehicles traveling on roadways.

Specifically, the agency would like drivers to avoid “no zones” or blind spots in their vehicles.

They also encourage drivers to pass other motorists safely and to ensure they are aware of other vehicles.

And they request that drivers avoid close distances when merging ahead of a truck or bus and to expect wide turns as larger vehicles require extra room. Additionally, drivers should remain focused on the roadways, be patient and courteous with drivers of large trucks and buses and to never text and drive.

Trucks and buses are significantly bigger than cars, and therefore have large blind spots, require longer distances for stopping, and their maneuverability is limited.

“Our Roads, Our Responsibility supports our agency’s core mission of reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles on our roadways,” FMCSA Administrator Scott Darling said. “Roadway safety is a shared responsibility, and this initiative encourages everyone who uses our roads to be champions for safety. We look forward to working with all our partners to raise awareness around this issue.”

“Trucks and buses move people and goods around the country, contributing to our economic well-being and our way of life,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx added. “These commercial vehicles also carry additional safety risks, so it’s critical that all road users understand how to safely share the road.”

Nearly 12 million commercial motor vehicles are registered to operate in the United States, and in 2014, drivers logged around 300 billion miles on the nation’s roads, according to the Department of Transportation.