MoDOT is reminding all drivers to Respect the Load. Share the Road during a statewide safety campaign August 5 - 31.

MoDOT says the goal of the campaign is to encourage motorists to drive safely around big rigs. In turn, commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers will be reminded to obey traffic laws, use their seat belts, slow down and pay attention.

“There were 146 people killed involving a CMV in 2018, with nearly 80% being drivers or passengers of other vehicles,” said Jon Nelson, MoDOT assistant to the state highway and traffic engineer. “Please don’t risk your life by driving aggressively around big trucks.”

According to MoDOT, commercial motor vehicles make up 20% of Missouri’s interstate traffic, carry goods from coast to coast and are a vital part of our nation’s economy.

They also provide critical services many Missourians rely on every day. When crashes involving tractor trailers occur, the disproportionate size of the large truck versus a car means those crashes can often involve serious injuries, or worse. MoDOT says research shows that in the majority of these crashes, drivers of passenger cars unnecessarily endanger themselves by not paying attention and driving aggressively around big rigs.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is offering the following tips for driving safely around big rigs:

- Don’t cut off large trucks or buses. Make sure you can see the truck’s cab lights in your rearview mirror before moving back into your original lane.

- Stay out of the “No Zone.” Big rigs have large blind spots on either side and up to 200 feet behind a vehicle. Pass only on the left side.

- Watch your following distance. Keep a safety cushion around trucks. Can you see the truck’s side mirrors? If not, the driver cannot see you.

For more information about the Commercial Motor Vehicle Awareness Campaign, visit saveMOlives.com.