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Fuel for Thought

Don't Drive Your Hood

Don't Drive Your Hood

By Greg Huggins
Posted Feb 17th 2017 8:34PM

Some things can only come with experience. If you recently got your CDL or are considering getting a Commercial Driver’s License, you may have the BASIC skills to operate a CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle), but leave behind your car driving ways.

It is normal for all people to draw on their experience to get them through a particular situation, but relying on your car driving skills to drive a truck can be dangerous to you and other vehicles around you.

Following too close and relying on your brakes to get you out of sticky situation is not a good plan. Far too many trucks on the road seem to “drive their hood”. By that I mean, that is as far ahead as they seem watch the road. Trucks do NOT stop as quickly as cars, as you should know. Tailgating the car or truck in front of you could lead to your ultimate demise.

Leave more space. You should have enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you to be able to react to a given situation. If the vehicle in front of you stops, can you?

I remember back when hoods on vehicles were very visible while driving. Today's vehicles tend to be more aerodynamic with sloped hoods, which to some drivers, cannot even be seen while driving. Maybe this is why so many drivers today seem to tailgate and do not seem to look too far ahead. The old bigger hoods with the center line on them gave a peripheral sense of your surrounding area, a point of reference.

Today’s trucks can stop better than those of years past, but you still need to plan ahead, by watching the road ahead as far as you can see, not just a few feet in front of you at the end of your hood. All too often I find that I need to ease off the accelerator or cancel the cruise control just so that another truck tailgating me will go around. Usually when I slow down to let some tailgater pass, they will come by me still on their phone and not really paying attention. It leads me to believe that some drivers who tailgate do so because they know they are not paying attention and will use another vehicle like a pace car(or truck). To me this seems even worse. Tailgating another vehicle to use as a pace car, would most likely increase your chances of a rear end collision exponentially. You plainly just will not have the reaction time needed to stop, or maneuver if your pace car(pace truck) does. I do not drive on your back doors, please do not drive into mine.

While platooning trucks are becoming a reality, it is because both vehicles are communicating with each other. Tailgating another truck is just stupid. Especially since not many drivers will use C.B. radios to communicate with each other these days.

Do yourself, your loved ones and everyone on the road a small favor, Don’t Drive Your Hood. Stop Tailgating. Give yourself some space to react to the multitude of things that can happen.

We all want to get back home safe.

See you down the road,


1 Comment

  • teamcaffee - February 18, 2017
    One off the things I like best is being able to see far far down the road in the truck. I am have plenty of time to react. Great reminder Greg.

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