Safety around trucks takes the spotlight in this summer’s Maryland’s Smooth Operator program. As a heat wave strikes the Baltimore area, the Smooth Operator program is working to put the chill on aggressive driving behaviors through education and enforcement waves of its own.

Aggressive driving is never a good idea, and it’s even worse around large commercial trucks. In the last five years, 299 people lost their lives and 12,951 people were injured on Maryland roads in crashes involving a large commercial truck or cross-country bus. Specifically, speeding, following too closely, weaving in and out of lanes, running stop signs and stop lights, and improper passing are all to blame. Because large trucks require more space to safely navigate, aggressive driving around large trucks can be particularly hazardous.

Crucial advice for driving around large, commercial trucks includes:

  • Allow plenty of distance between you and a truck.
  • Don’t forget that a car driver tailgating a truck cannot see the roadway ahead of that truck.
  • If a truck needs to suddenly slow or stop, the driver behind could be caught unaware if driving aggressively.
    Because a truck takes longer to stop than a car, most truck drivers attempt to leave extra space in front of them. 
  • Car drivers that dart in front of trucks and into that safe stopping distance are putting themselves at risk.