Trooper ride alongBy Jena Williams

In a recent media release, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) noted that “between 2005 and 2007, commercial vehicles were involved in nearly 5,000 collisions in Washington. On rural roads, the driver of the car was at fault two-thirds of the time, causing the deaths of 175 people, and another 450 people were injured.”

In response to this, the WSP Commercial Vehicle Division partnered with the Washington Trucking Associations to become a pilot state for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s TACT Project*.  TACT stands for Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks.

[The goal of TACT] is to change driver behavior when operating around commercial motor vehicles, to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities on our state’s roadways, and to increase public awareness about unsafe driving behaviors around commercial vehicles (i.e. cutting off trucks, tailgating, failure to yield right of way, speeding, and aggressive driving). It also targets truckers who are not driving considerately.

The project started in 2005 with a trooper riding along with a commercial truck to get a perspective on how unsafe the general motoring public can be around trucks. It seems obvious that if a personal vehicle tangles with a commercial truck, the truck is going to win, but some people still seem to need the reminder.

The WSP team cited aggressive drivers or gave warnings along with information on driving safely around commercial trucks. The Washington pilot was so successful that other states applied for and received grants from the FMCSA to get the project in their states.

What is the most important piece of advice for commuters who share the road with commercial trucks? Please share your comments below.

*TACT project is a grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Photo courtesy FMCSA.

Results of the Washington state TACT program

Information from the WSP on aggressive driving and road rage

Information from the FMCSA on TACT