Share The Road

Daisha Spiece, Writer

Steven Spiece
The damage to the truck that rear ended Steven while going 44 MPH last week. There were no injuries, and no damage to Steven’s tractor trailer. 

 There are over 200 million drivers in the U.S. and newly licensed americans hit the road each year. We take all of the classes, study the material, pass the tests, and now we’re off with more freedom. We’re always told how to be safe and responsible, but do we really know how dangerous driving can actually be? Many civilians don’t understand the risk they’re taking when they get into a vehicle,and it’s even worse when they’re trying to be professional stunt drivers around tractor trailers.

    “If you get hit by one, it’s equivalent to smashing a soda can with your foot.” Says Steven Spiece, whos been trucking for more than three years now. He says: “The biggest misconception is that big trucks stop better because they have braking systems that are air, but in truth, its those systems that are required to stop that much weight.” Drivers don’t stop to think about how different tractor trailers are than the average 3,000-6,000 pound vehicles the majority of us are in. “A loaded truck can legally weight up to 80,000 LBS and can take up to 1,000 feet to stop from 55 MPH.” Said Steven. “…on a daily basis, a trucker will encounter easily five or more cars cutting them off, or slamming on their breaks in front of them.” He adds.

    Drivers are too impatient while the big trucks are trying to get up to speed and tend to quickly change lanes and try to speed past them. The majority of trucks have the “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you” sticker on the back of their trucks. Trucks don’t have rearview mirrors, only side view mirrors so that theory, is in fact, very accurate. “Last week, a guy rear ended me while I was dead stopped. He hit me going about 40 MPH and there’s zero damage to my truck. I didn’t even feel him hit me.” Said Steven. Young drivers, old drivers, new drivers, and drivers who have been driving for a long time, aren’t being as safe as possible when it comes to sharing the road with tractor trailers.

    Old drivers tend to act like know-it-alls who think their driving years have made them invisible. New drivers are too excited about having more freedom and showing off their speed. No amount of experience will ever make anyone a “perfect” driver, and everyone needs to be more cautious. So be more patient with truckers and stop risking lives because you want to go fast. Give them more room on the roads and don’t slam on your breaks in front of them, because they can’t stop nearly as fast as you. Stay safe so you can enjoy the luxury of driving as long as possible.