TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Some truckers have a grim saying about cars that pass big rigs on the right. They warn: pass on the right if you want to die.
Now state police are launching an effort to crack down on dangerous driving among truckers and car drivers. The new enforcement campaign aims to reduce crashes between trucks and cars, which all too often are the deadliest kind of crash.
Police say fatal crashes involving trucks are almost always the fault of a car driver. Lt. Col. Ernie Duarte of the Florida Highway Patrol says 88 percent of all fatal crashes are caused by cars.
Truckers have a couple of big blind spots. Lt. Col. Duarte asks you to remember that when you're traveling behind 18-wheelers.
"We truly do need to have people understand how important it is to give truck drivers space not only when they're behind them because they can't see them, but also when they're cutting in, in front of them, and when they're actually slowing down and stopping abruptly."
Duarte says it takes a car traveling 55 miles an hour about 400 feet to stop, but it takes a big rig nearly 800 feet.
Truck driver David Kite urges drivers to stay out of a truck's blind spots.
"We do our best to see what's going on around us at all times but we can never see everything at the same time. One of the most important things when people are driving around us in traffic is try to give us a little bit of room."
The enforcement campaign is called Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks. State troopers are looking for drivers who tailgate, change lanes and drive too fast. The campaign will last until next summer.
First Coast News