A statewide awareness campaign will soon begin in an effort to remind Missouri motorists to drive safely around commercial motor vehicles.

According to a press release from MoDOT, the campaign begins July 15.

Commercial motor vehicle drivers are also be reminded to obey traffic laws, use their seat belts, slow down and pay attention.

MoDOT says commercial motor vehicles make up 20% of Missouri’s interstate traffic, while carrying goods from coast to coast. The campaign will run through the summer.

When crashes involving tractor trailers happen the disproportionate size of the large truck versus a car means those crashes can often involve serious injuries, or worse. Research shows that in the majority of these crashes, drivers of passenger cars unnecessarily endanger themselves by not paying attention and driving recklessly around big rigs, according to the press release. MoDOT reminds everyone to Respect the load. Share the road.

“Please don’t risk your life by driving aggressively around big trucks,” said Jon Nelson, MoDOT assistant to the state highway and traffic engineer. “Please be patient and pay attention.”

Some of the tips MoDOT is offering include:

 - Don’t cut off large trucks or buses. Make sure you can see the truck’s cab lights in your rearview mirror before moving back into your original lane.
 - Stay out of the “No Zone.” Big rigs have large blind spots on either side and up to 200 feet behind a vehicle. Pass only on the left side.
 - Watch your following distance. Keep a safety cushion around trucks. Can you see the truck’s side mirrors? If not, the driver cannot see you.

More information about the Commercial Motor Vehicle Awareness Campaign can be found at saveMOlives.com.

Missouri State Highway Patrol