Interacting Safely with Commercial Motor Vehicles

 

The Department of Transportation's subdivision Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration affiliate program TACT, or Targeting Aggressive Cars and Trucks program encourages driving behaviors that allow passenger vehicles and commercial motor vehicles to share our nation's roads and highways safely.

Commercial motor vehicle and tractor-trailer truck accidents account for many of our nation's road and highway accidents and fatalities every year. In 2008, there were 4,229 deaths that involved commercial vehicles in the United States. This number, however, was a 12 percent decrease from the year before with 4,822 deaths in the year 2007.

The federal government believes that this drop in fatalities is partially to account for safer driver programs. By being aware of the conditions commercial motor vehicle require on the roads in comparison to passenger vehicles (standard cars and trucks), such as more room and maneuverability, drivers can better avoid dangerous collisions with these vehicles.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration works to educate motorists on how to share the road safely. One of the ways the federal government does this is through state-by-state programs like Click It or Ticket and Targeting Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT). TACT's mission is "to reduce commercial motor vehicle-related crashes, injuries and fatalities" via a visible traffic enforcement program to promote safe driving behaviors among both car and truck drivers.

Aggressive driving and other unsafe driving habits contribute to most crashes and fatalities between passenger vehicles and commercial motor vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration outlines the following driving behaviors as ones to avoid:

Unsafe Driving Behaviors:
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Tailgating
  • Failing to signal lane changes
  • Failing to yield right-of-way
  • Speeding
  • Aggressive driving (a combination of two or more of the prior unsafe driving behaviors)

By avoiding unsafe driving behaviors, car and truck drivers can both help make the roads and highways a safer place to travel.