HOUSTON (KIAH) – The Texas Department of Public Transportation is sharing safety tips for sharing the road with large trucks. Officials say this is especially important for drivers traveling through energy-producing areas.

TxDOT says people should be careful and cautious when driving around trucks in rural areas. Crashes with larger vehicles; Especially, 18-wheelers can lead to death or serious injury.

Safety authorities say traffic increases in areas where oil and gas activity in production areas is high.

According to TxDOT, in 2021, more than 79,000 traffic crashes occurred in the state’s five major energy production areas resulting in 1,119 deaths that’s a 20% increase over the previous year. 

Here are some tips for people hitting the roadways…

  • Stay away from a truck’s “no-zones,” or blind spot areas in which crashes are more likely to occur.
    • The space is up to 20 feet in front of the cab and the area is up to 200 feet behind the trailer.
  • Don’t tailgate – maintain a safe following distance.
  • Pass trucks safely by waiting until you can see both truck headlights in your rearview mirror before moving back into your lane.
  • Never cross behind a truck that is backing up.
  • Don’t squeeze between a truck and the curb. Trucks make wide right turns, and the driver may not see you.