The West Virginia Trucking Association is recognizing Operation Safe Driver Week and encouraging people to use more caution on the roads.
Recently, an accident involving a tractor trailer left one person dead on Interstate 70 near the Highlands. While officials say tractor trailer accidents occur less frequently than car accidents, you should still take caution when sharing the road.
“You need to allow yourself enough room between vehicles, and people have to learn, especially when it’s raining, to slow down because you will hydroplane. Your stopping distance will be greater. That’s a major factor. Matter of fact, that was one of the factors in this accident, I’m sure,” said Ohio County Sheriff Pat Butler.
According to the West Virginia Trucking Association, you should always stay 20 to 25 car lengths behind a tractor trailer because drivers cannot see you 30 feet behind the truck.
Other than following other vehicles too closely, officials say distraction at the wheel is another leading cause of accidents. In fact, just two seconds of distraction at the wheel doubles the chances of an accident.
“For the most part, it’s people on their telephones, texting, eating, not paying attention, things like that. These are not toys. They’re 2 ton missile,” said Sheriff Butler.
As a rule of thumb, the West Virginia Trucking Association says if you are following a truck and you cannot see the driver’s face in the truck’s side mirrors, the truck driver cannot see you either.
You should also never pass a truck on the right because the blind spot runs the length of the trailer and extends out three lanes.