American Property Casualty Insurance Association
  • Staff Contact: Tamra Johnson     
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  • FOR RELEASE ON RECEIPT
  • April 15, 2020
  • Driver Alert: Practice Safety While Sharing the Road with Large Trucks
  • WASHINGTON, D.C. — As large trucks are hitting the road amid COVID-19 to help move goods and supply essential items to stores and households, drivers of passenger vehicles must remember that large trucks and buses do not operate in the same way as their vehicle. Large trucks cannot stop on a dime and have blind spots that make it difficult to see smaller vehicles while on the road. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA) urge drivers in smaller vehicles to share the roads safely with trucks.

    “During this time of crisis, many drivers will find themselves more stressed and distracted. While working to maintain our health and the wellbeing of loved ones, we must remember to stay alert when behind the wheel,” said Robert Passmore, vice president of auto and claims policy at American Property Casualty Insurance Association. “Sharing the road with large trucks and pedestrians can ensure everyone reaches their destination safely.”

    There are a number of things motorists can do to safely share the road with larger commercial vehicles. In order to reduce crashes on the road, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recommends drivers be aware of key safety challenges for large trucks and follow these tips:

    • Blind Spots: Large trucks have blind spots around all four sides that make it difficult to see smaller vehicles when making turns and switching lanes. Drivers should be cautious when passing large trucks and avoid getting caught in their blind spots. If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her side mirror, the driver can’t see you.
    • Longer Stopping Distance: Large trucks take longer to stop than passenger vehicles. When traveling at speeds over 60mph, it can take a truck driver more than two football fields to stop. Do not cut in front of a truck and be sure to leave plenty of distance so the truck can safely stop
    • Wide Turns: Large trucks need more space at turns and are more difficult to maneuver through roads and intersections than small vehicles. Be cautious when trucks are traveling through tight spaces and give extra room when they are attempting to turn.

    “Professional truck drivers take safety very seriously – never more so than during this crisis,” said Dan Horvath, vice president of safety policy at American Trucking Associations. “Motorists can do their part to keep our highways safe by leaving themselves appropriate space around commercial vehicles, by obeying speed limits and eliminating distractions like cellphones while they drive.”

    Auto insurers are implementing measures to directly help policyholders during this extraordinary crisis. This includes: refunds and discounts for policyholders; flexible payment solutions for families, individuals, and businesses; waiving insurance premium late fees; pausing cancellation of coverage due to non-payment; and suspending personal auto exclusions for restaurant employees who are transitioning to meal delivery services using their personal auto policy as coverage. For drivers involved in a crash, APCIA recommends calling your auto insurer as soon as possible:

    • Insurers are adopting new technologies and remote solutions to minimize any interruptions in service and paying claims, such as using virtual inspection technology to complete damage inspections.
    • Auto insurers are prepared to be as flexible as possible within the terms of the policy, should there be any delays in vehicle repairs for reasons that are out of the control of the insurer, vehicle owner, or repair facility.

    America’s Road Team – a group of elite professional truck drivers – offers a series of additional safety tips that can be found here.

  • The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is the primary national trade association for home, auto, and business insurers. APCIA promotes and protects the viability of private competition for the benefit of consumers and insurers, with a legacy dating back 150 years. APCIA members represent all sizes, structures, and regions—protecting families, communities, and businesses in the U.S. and across the globe.
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