FMCSA Releases New “Our Roads, Our Responsibility” Campaign

14 Dec 2016

In August 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched the “Our Roads, Our Responsibility” initiative. The idea behind it is to raise public awareness about how drivers can safely share road space with commercial vehicles such as buses and semi-trucks.

The campaign looks to inform drivers of non-commercial vehicles about the specific dangers of driving unsafely while near buses and trucks. For example, these large vehicles need twice as much stop distance as a passenger car. With this in mind, the campaign highlights the responsibility that all road users must share the road safely.

With almost 12 million commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in operation in the U.S. today, and around 300 billion of miles logged, the campaign is pertinent to ensuring the safety of all drivers and passengers on the roads.

While GPS fleet tracking is an important tool that allows fleet drivers to practice driving safety, however, the general public needs to be aware of the part they can play too.

As well as the road stop distance factor highlighted earlier, the initiative also highlights issues such as:

  • CMVs have hugely significant weight and size differences
  • CMVs have large blind spots
  • CMVs have limited maneuverability

These aspects can present serious safety issues for passenger vehicle drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists too.

The “Our Roads, Our Responsibility” campaign issued the following list of tips for safely sharing the road with commercial motor vehicles:

  • Stay clear of the blind spots located around the sides, back, and front of the CMV.
  • Stay focused on driving, and don’t let yourself become distracted.
  • Exercise patience when driving near, beside, and around large buses, and trucks.
  • Consider larger vehicles need more room to turn, and anticipate these wide turns.
  • Ensure you can see the driver in the mirror before passing, so you can pass safely.
  • Don’t cut in too close when merging in front of a commercial motor vehicle.

The FMCSA hopes that this initiative will play a significant factor in reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities relating to commercial motor vehicles on our roads. They also want to highlight that roadway safety is the responsibility of everyone, and not just for commercial motors vehicle drivers alone.

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