PHARR, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Texas Department of Transportation reminds drivers to use caution when traveling on roadways in an effort to lower the risk of fatal accidents.
“Thousands of large trucks and 18-wheelers, transport goods across busy Texas highways every day. So it’s important that we stay aware,” said Ray Pedraza, Texas Department of Transportation Public Information Officer.
There have been three fatal semi-trailer accidents in the Rio Grande Valley in the past two weeks, resulting in six fatalities.
“If you can’t see the driver through his side mirror, chances are he can’t see you or your vehicle. That’s why it’s important to give them their space or to not swerve in front of a big rig,” Pedraza said.
The TxDOT has started “Be Safe, Drive Smart”, a campaign aimed at providing tips for motorists as a reminder to share the road.
“Don’t squeeze between a truck and a curb. These large trucks make wide turns and chances are they may not see you,” Pedraza added.
When fully loaded these semi-trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and would take over 100 yards, the length of a football field, to stop completely if traveling 60 miles per hour.
Pedraza urges drivers to use these tips when driving along these semi-trucks on busy highways.
“They’re bad, they’re bad, and there has been a lot,” said Weslaco resident Priscilla Gonzalez. “It’s pretty sad. And then when they turn it’s ugly because they can hit you like I drive a small car.”
If you happen to see a semi-trailer along your commute just remember to “Be Safe, and Drive Smart” to avoid a potential collision.