Preventing blind side tractor trailer crashes on NY highways

NEW BALTIMORE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Driving alongside a tractor trailer can be dangerous if you get stuck in their blind spot.

State officials are giving people a chance see the road from a truck driver’s perspective and is part of their Operation Safe Driver Week.

It’s all about educating drivers on blinds spots around tractor trailers.

“You never know what’s going to happen.”

After 25 years on the road, Jerry Woitkoski says he has seen it all.

“We’re a big truck so yes we might be a little bit slower, but don’t pull out in front of us. That’s a big issue. I see that every day on the road.”

On Thursday, we’re seeing things from their perspective. Six stops along the Thruway, tractor trailer drivers are educating people about sharing the road.

“Price Chopper’s trucks only go 65 MPH,” Hans Harbers, a truck driver for Price Chopper, said. “If we get out to pass somebody and the vehicle I’m passing or moving over for if somebody comes into the inside of me and doesn’t get by me I’m kind of stuck out there”

The key is a safety margin. Eighteen wheelers have four significant blind spots.

“It’s so long that in some places you have to really be careful to see around those blind spots. You have to really be careful of those,” Louise Sylvester said.

A rule of thumb is if you can’t see the driver in their side view mirror, chances are they cannot see you. That’s how you know you are in their blind spot.

“You don’t want to linger by them because they might not see if you,” Trooper Chris Hathaway said. “If they see something happening where they have to change lanes, they could be coming over and now we could have an accident.”

An important safety reminder because at the end of the day, everyone is trying to get home safely.

All week, New York State Police will be along the Thruway enforcing the rules of the road during Operation Safe Driver Week.

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