ROAD TO ZERO

UDOT urges drivers to share the road safely with semi-trucks

Jun 15, 2023, 5:30 PM | Updated: 5:39 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has more commercial vehicles on our roads than any other state. That’s why the Utah Department of Transportation has turned its focus on making sure we share the roads with semi-trucks safely.

“In 2022 there were 43 commercial-related fatalities here in Utah on our roads. So far this year already there have been 25,” UDOT spokesperson Katie Lindley said.

Semi-trucks make up roughly 25% of the vehicles on Utah roads. That’s double the national average.

“Three out of four times, us in our cars, we are the ones causing the crashes we have a lot of improvement there,” Lindley said.

That’s where the Truck Smart campaign comes in. It’s a zero fatalities safety program aimed at education to keep everyone safe behind the wheel.

Lindley said, “If you’re involved in a crash with a commercial vehicle like a big rig, you are lucky to come out alive.”

The two takeaways for drivers: Look for the truck driver’s face in their mirrors and try to make eye contact. Then, make sure you see both headlights in your rearview mirror before moving in front of a semi-truck.

“The biggest fear I have is somebody cutting me off and not being able to stop because I, as a driver would hate to seriously injure or cause a fatality,” Walmart truck driver Angie Cloud said.

She has been driving big rigs for 18 years.

“Being a semi-truck driver, we carry a lot of responsibility. We can’t turn like a car. We can’t stop like a car so we have to be constantly on the lookout,” Cloud said.

She has seen a lot.

Cloud said, “What i do see a lot lately, is people coming into my lane texting. So that is a big thing and we can see, we look down and we can see that phone and we see them swerving. So we have to kind of get out of their lane a little bit.”

It’s a good reminder to put the phone away.

The best way to ensure your safety as a driver and everyone else around you is to have no distractions while driving.

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UDOT urges drivers to share the road safely with semi-trucks