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“A tractor-trailer loaded with Christmas trees skidded out of control and slid off the highway west of Des Moines, closing a ramp on Interstate 80. Police said the trailer was on the exit ramp to Interstate 80/35 about 3 a.m. when it began sliding on the rain-slickened

  highway.

 The trailer began to fishtail and rolled with its load of trees.”

 

“U. SAUCON TWP. | Canned goods were strewn onto the highway, oil spilled and pieces of the cement median were launched into another truck late Tuesday night during a wreck on Interstate 78.”

 

“SPRINGFIELD - A 58-year-old U.S. Postal Service employee died last night after the driver of a tractor-trailer backed into him at a loading dock of a mail distribution facility on Brookdale Drive, police said.”

 

“LAFAYETTE, La. — Two little girls, who apparently couldn’t sleep, got out of the bed they shared less than a half-hour before a tractor-trailer plowed through their bedroom.”

 

“Motorists may have been driven bananas over the years by Route 119, but perhaps none more than John Q. Jones. Jones, 52, of Garland, Texas, was driving a tractor-trailer Monday when it overturned and spilled its 22-ton load of bananas.”

 

“WEST PALM BEACH ” Workers were rushing to close holes left in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 on Monday after a 12,000-pound machine fell off a flatbed rig, the Florida Highway Patrol said.”

 

These are just a few of the many tragic reports of trucking accidents in America’s most treacherous industry.

 

Over the past ten years, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes has increased by up to ten percent, due to unsafe vehicle operation, large, unstable loads, defective equipment or driver fatigue.

 

For the nations economy as well as the trucking companies, commercial trucking growth is good news. It’s important to keep truckers on the road and delivering America’s goods. In 2008 large trucks hauled the majority of all freight transported in the U.S. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), revenues for trucking totaled $710 billion last year and revenues are predicted to nearly double by the year 2015.

 

Here are some tips to keep you on the road and to help protect the drivers around you:

 

Double-check your mirrors before turning right. Motorists around you may not know that you need to swing wide to the left in order to make a right turn and they may not realize that you are turning.

 

Signal early and often when maneuvering through and around intersections. In heavy traffic, motorists who drive alongside the truck may not see your turn signal. Signaling early gives motorists the information they need to decide whether or not to pull alongside you.

 

Don’t tailgate. It makes motorists uneasy to have 80,000 pounds of truck on their rear bumper. Leave extra space between your truck and cars around you whenever possible. Many motorists don’t know how long it takes a truck to stop or how much room you need to pass safely.

 

It is especially important to use designated parking areas when possible. Use proper parking areas when pulling off the road. If you can’t do this, pull completely off the road and set out flares, safety triangles or other devices to alert other drivers. Trucks are four times more likely to be rear-ended than cars.

 

Having your trucking business properly insured will keep you rolling when the unforeseen does happen.

 

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