Pedestrians and CMV

Dear Professional Driver,

This month’s letter is going to address an issue which affects you, the Professional Driver, and pedestrians surrounding your unit in busy urban areas. Please share this letter with your loved ones as, at times, are pedestrians. The Professional Driver is a defensive driver. Do you realize that pedestrians pose a far greater challenge to defensive driving because their behavior is so unpredictable? This is especially true when you are delivering gasoline to crowded metropolitan service stations with convenience stores. To assist commercial motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has provided the following safety tips to prevent tragic accidents from occurring.
Commercial Motor Vehicles:
Commercial motor vehicles have many blind spots (No-Zones) that the driver may never see the pedestrian until too late. The FMCSA recommends Professional Drivers:
➢ Conduct maintenance checks on equipment that will aid in situations involving pedestrians. Check mirrors, horn operations and devices that will indirectly aid vision.
➢ While maneuvering close to pedestrians, anticipate the unexpected. Pedestrians often misjudge the speed and closeness of commercial motor vehicles and, at times, assume they will slow down for them.
➢ Do not assume pedestrians will give the CMV the right-of-way until it is obvious they are waiting for the vehicle to pass.
➢ Be extra careful at night because pedestrians may incorrectly assume the CMV driver can see them because they can easily see your headlights.
➢ Know that improper trailer tracking in turns may cause the trailer to run up onto sidewalks occupied by pedestrians. Turn wide enough to avoid this and go very slowly.

Pedestrians are at a major disadvantage when walking near commercial motor vehicles. This is especially true when they are crossing streets, intersections or standing on street corners.
➢ Don’t jay-walk. Stay on sidewalks and use crosswalks whenever possible. When waiting for walk signals, stand back from the curb in case a commercial motor vehicle trailer improperly tracks, riding up onto the curb. If the driver is also distracted, he may never see you resulting in serious injury or death.
➢ Understand the commercial motor vehicle has “No-Zones” when walking around the vehicle. The pedestrian must always assume the driver cannot see them. Never, ever walk behind a truck that is backing. The driver will never see you. Remember, if you can’t see the driver in the truck’s mirrors, he cannot see you.
➢ Pedestrians must also realize trucks cannot stop on a dime. When crossing streets or crosswalks, never assume the truck is going to stop as the driver may not see you or cannot even stop. Never take a chance with a truck. Even if the driver sees you, he may not have sufficient stopping distance to allow you to cross safely.
➢ Make yourself visible to commercial motor vehicles; especially at night or reduced daylight. Many professional drivers operate during the overnight hours. Wear reflective clothing or use a flashlight so these drivers can see you.
➢ Be careful of commercial motor vehicles hauling wide loads. These vehicles need extra room when turning and take longer to stop. The driver’s field of vision may also be diminished. Give these trucks the respect they deserve.

When walking near commercial motor vehicles the pedestrian must keep their wits about them. Commercial motor vehicles do not handle like bicycles, motorcycles or automobiles. Before crossing any street, make sure the way is clear, you make eye contact with the driver and ensure he sees you. By following these safety tips, both drivers and pedestrians can safely share the road.

Be Safe!