Popular Mechanics magazine, which takes on topics ranging from "Ab Machines That Work" to "How to Make Beer," now adds sharing the road with trucks to its repertoire.
In a web story this week, poetically headlined "How to Avoid Getting Squashed by a Semi," CDL holder Mac Demere offers real-world advice to four-wheelers in a straightforward, humorous and sometimes unapologetic tone.
"instead of complaining about getting a semi's wake blown all over your windshield or being stuck behind a truck lumbering up a hill, it's time to get serious staying safe around these huge machines," he writes.
He goes on to offer advice about passing a truck on the right (don't!), the problem with blind spots ("blind fields," Demere calls them), stopping distances and more.
"Once, an inattentive four-wheeler driver realized he was about to miss his exit. He yanked in front of my big rig, jammed on the brakes, and came very close to discovering whether there's life after death."
Demere, according to his website, is a veteran journalist who has written for Motor Trend, Popular Mechanics, edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book and others. He was editorial director of SportsCar and Performance Racing Industry magazines. He's a driving and tire safety expert and a former race driver, who competed in the NASCAR Southwest Tour and Rolex 24 at Daytona.
It's not the first time Demere has tackled the task of trying to educate auto drivers about the challenges of driving a tractor-trailer. A link on his website goes to an article on another automotive website, "Behind the Wheel of a Big Rig: Familiarity breeds content when sharing the road with 40 tons and 18 wheels."
"Approaching a toll booth not long after I'd earned my Commercial Driver's License," he writes, "I calculated that my truck was the proverbial camel attempting to go through the eye of a needle—we'd need a miracle to make it." After watching another trucker navigate the booth, he made it, but, he writes, "for a long time, when another big rig passed to my left, I had to fight the urge to tuck in my left elbow."
It's nice to see articles like these out in the mainstream media to help educate the general public about sharing the road and the importance of trucking and truckers.