TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Transportation has published on its blog an open letter from a veteran professional truck driver that outlines best safety practices.
In the letter, Eureka, Kansas, driver Ronald Mayes, a 30-year veteran of the road, chastised passenger car and pickup drivers — and even some of his fellow truckers — for not always following the rules of the road.
“I just want to say that the cars and pickup trucks that we professional drivers refer to as ‘four wheelers’ are being operated by people who at times appear not to care about their health and safety or that of other persons using the highways,” Mayes, 59, wrote. “I know there are a few bad semi drivers out there, some of whom have pulled out in front of me going 65 miles per hour — way too close. But people driving cars and pickups do that all the time at intersections. They also tend to cut off semis after passing them going 70-80 mph. They get right in front and then sometimes slow way down, even hitting the brakes. Now why would you pass me at 70 mph and then slow to 5-10 mph?”
Mayes offers tips for four-wheelers:
- Stay off my back end and don’t tailgate. I can’t see you.
- Stay off the phone when driving, especially around semis.
- Stay off my right side. I can’t see you there, either.
“It’s all about physics, motion, mass and density,” Mayes writes. “I can’t stop 80,000 pounds-plus of truck quickly. Having more tires on the highway doesn’t mean I can brake faster than a regular vehicle. And for the drivers hauling oversized loads it’s even worse. Give us room: 1 second for each 10 feet of vehicle length, and add 1 more second if you’re driving faster than 60 mph.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.