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Truckers urge drivers to slow down

Local truckers have seen scary situations often caused by regular drivers who aren't paying attention.

Posted: Jan 27, 2018 10:35 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Truckers drive for an average of 10 hours a day and are often hauling around 80,000 pounds. As we saw Thursday, high speeds while carrying that much weight can often be fatal. 

"It can be a very dangerous job," said David Eaglebarger, a tanker driver. 

In the 18 years Eaglebarger has driven trucks, he's seen some scary situations often caused by regular drivers who aren't paying attention. 

"I've seen cars merge directly underneath them. I've also seen cars put on their brakes and swerve, tractors they just can't stop," Eaglebarger said. 

The kind of truck he drives is a tanker. Eaglebarger said when they crash, it's usually fatal. The best advice he can give is to get around semis, and be aware that they can't stop as quickly as you can. 

"Slow down, get around us. We're not there to be a hindrance to you, we don't want to be in traffic with you. We would like to get home safely just like you would," he said. 

Daniel Johnson has driven trucks all around the country for the last ten years. The biggest problem he notices are people going way too fast, especially near on and off ramps. 

"You've got this mentality like, 'I've got to get to A or B or I've got to do A or B,' but you don't think about what's gonna happen," Johnson said. 

He said he often sees drivers cutting semis off to catch their exits, but they should understand just how long it takes for a semi to stop. 

"At 65 miles an hour, it takes the length of a football field to bring a semi truck, fully loaded, to a stop," Johnson said. 

Johnson does his part as well, by keeping his distance from cars and slowing down, even if it sets him back. 

"You'll get there. If you're a little late, you're a little late, but you're there alive," he said. 

Truckers also urge drivers to increase their stopping and following distance as snow moves back into the area. 

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