Drivers, be patient with those who deliver the goods
Some vehicles on our roads are a lot larger than a car, a pickup truck, or even one of those behemoth SUVs. The large vehicles I am referring to stock the shelves of our grocery stores, supply fuel to our gasoline stations, haul away dirt so the other large vehicles can bring in concrete and other building supplies, as well as furniture and appliances. Let us not forget the waste removal by people in their large vehicles.
These large vehicles are commonly called trucks, and some are larger than others. There are a lot of these trucks traveling through our valley; and the people in the smaller cars, pickup trucks and SUVs should pay a lot more attention when maneuvering near these larger trucks, which are the lifeline of a robust economy.
These large trucks require more room to turn a corner, stop, or maneuver. Therefore, when you see that big truck with the turn signal on, and taking up a piece of your lane, stay calm. Please don’t try to squeeze up next to them, as these vehicles have blind spots. We always try to watch out for the smaller vehicles, but we cannot see everywhere.
Imagine that you are passing a big truck, and then jump right back over in front of the truck. Then BOOM! You blow a tire and lose control of your vehicle. Will that truck, which is much larger, and weighs a lot more than your little vehicle, be able to stop before running right up over the top of you? You can always hope; but hoping will not make a large truck, with a heavy load, stop like a car.
Imagine you pass a truck approaching a traffic light, and the stoplight turns red. You just have to pass the guy in the other lane, so you change lanes (maybe with the late, quick flash turn signal blink) and jump back over in front of the truck as you sharply brake. You just robbed the large truck of a lot more stopping area. Will the truck be able to get stopped, before running over the top of you?
Some drivers are impatient because the large, heavy trucks can’t speed away from the traffic light, or because they block a part of the road to unload. You let us know that we are No. 1 with your sign language, or a few choice words.
Please, take a few deep breaths and be patient. We are just doing our jobs. Without big trucks, this valley and this country we love could not function.
When you read this, I hope it will make you stop and think. Big trucks cannot stop, accelerate, or maneuver like the smaller vehicles that share our roadways. It takes a lot more distance to get it going, and to get it all stopped safely.
Drivers of large trucks have to pass a test, and qualify for a special commercial driver’s license. Operators of smaller vehicles take a much easier test, which requires no knowledge about sharing the road with their larger cousins.
I believe it would help to ask a few questions about operating a smaller vehicle around a large truck before a driver can be granted the privilege of possessing a Colorado driver’s license. I think that would help more people understand the potential hazards of operating a car around a large truck.
Kenny South of Rifle is a professional truck driver.
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