Vision Zero recognizes professional drivers during 2023 National Truck Driver Appreciation Week
For Immediate Release: Sep 07 2023
STATEWIDE, N.D. – Vision Zero along with the North Dakota Motor Carriers Association, are honoring of the millions of professional truck drivers who deliver America’s freight safely and securely during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, Sept. 10-16.
Nearly every aspect of daily life is made possible because a truck driver delivered the resources people need, so truck drivers and motorists must work together to make sure everyone gets home safely.
“Truck Driver Appreciation Week is a time to rally around our professional truck drivers and show them appreciation. We are grateful for these men and women who show their dedication and perseverance to assure safety on our highways,” explains NDDOT Highway Safety Division Director Karin Mongeon.
“There are roughly 3.5 million professional truck drivers nationwide, including more than 9,700 in North Dakota who deliver essential goods like food, fuel, medicine and clothing. The hard-working individuals behind the wheel safely transport almost 11.5 billion tons of goods and products every year, which account for more than 70% of America’s total annual freight,” said NDMCA President Jeremy Oistad.
Motorists can take certain steps to do their part when driving near or around a semi-truck or other large vehicles. Follow these tips to share the road with truck drivers:
Drive defensively - Pay attention to vehicle locations, traffic flow, vehicle signals and weather so you can anticipate problems and have plenty of time to react.
Avoid blind spots - Large vehicles have extensive blind spots on both sides. If you can’t see the driver’s face in their side-view mirror, they can’t see you.
Pass safely, or not at all - Semi-trucks and other large vehicles need twice the time and space to stop as smaller passenger vehicles. When changing lanes in front of large vehicles, allow one vehicle length for every 10 mph you are traveling (70 mph = 7 car lengths).
Pay close attention - Never cross behind a truck that’s backing up. Truck drivers don’t have a rearview mirror and therefore may not see you behind them.
Avoid the "squeeze play" - Truck and bus drivers sometimes need to swing wide to the left to safely make a right turn. They can’t see vehicles squeezing in between them and the curb. Watch for their turn signals and give them room to turn.
Preliminary data for 2023 shows that 23% of fatal crashes have involved a Commercial Motor Vehicle,making this collaborative effort crucial to help meet the state’s goal of zero motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roads.
Learn more about traffic safety initiatives at VisionZero.ND.gov or join the conversation on the Vision Zero ND Facebook or X page.