National Ice Cream day occurs on the third Sunday of every July. Americans have celebrated the day -- and the tasty frozen treat -- since 1984, when President Ronald Reagan signed a measure declaring the holiday. Unfortunately, it appears that last Sunday, a Virginia Beach ice cream truck driver took her celebrations too far by attempting to drive her ice cream truck while inebriated.
If you've ever passed a commercial truck on the interstate -- and you probably have many times, because they travel so slowly -- then you know just how scary these behemoths are. As you pass them, you can't help but feel a little fearful. What if the truck driver doesn't see me? What if he falls asleep and veers into my lane? You're correct to be fearful and cautious around these giant trucks. There's also a few more vital things you can do to ensure you and your passengers' safety:
The left lane of an interstate, often referred to as the "fast" lane, is for passing. Faster traffic stays to the left, while slower traffic, such as those who are about to exit, stays to the right. This limits congestion and helps everyone move at roughly the rate they desire.
Nearly all 18-wheelers are equipped with underride guards on the backs of their trailers. You've probably seen them. They're the metal grates that extend down close to the ground on the backs of semitrucks. These underride guards prevent vehicles from getting stuck under the truck in rearward collisions.
A fatal truck accident closed a road in Orange County late last month. According to Virginia State Police, they are still investigating what may have caused the early evening collision.
Semitrucks that have large trailers behind them are always in danger of causing a jackknife accident. When an eighteen-wheeler jackknifes, it means that the truck driver took too sharp of a turn -- so sharp that "tractor" and the "trailer" started moving at odd angles to one another. These accidents are most common when a tractor trailer is trying to back up in a small space.
A recent personal essay posted on TruckingTruth is so well written, and so illustrative of what truckers have to deal with in terms of sleep deprivation, that we wanted to talk about it here. In the article, a trucker describes his process of coming to grips with the strange sleeping patterns associated with the long haul.
When it comes to being safe around semitrucks, there's a little thing called the "no-zone" and you want to avoid being in this zone like the plague. All big vehicles have no-zones that surround them, and when a car enters one of these areas, a collision is much more likely to occur.
Most drivers are accustomed to seeing large trucks on Virginia highways. In fact, these trucks are so commonplace that drivers rarely consider how extremely dangerous they are. During peak traffic times, you might end up getting a little too close to these large vehicles -- so close that you could get hit and involved in a catastrophic accident.
Truck drivers need to be the most careful drivers on the road. That's because the slightest misstep could spell ultimate disaster for a truck driver and any vehicle and its driver and passengers around the truck driver. Big trucks are slow to accelerate, slow to stop, slow to maneuver and they weigh thousands and thousands of pounds more than the average vehicle.