On December 16th, a big rig rear-ended a Lincoln along I-20 near Hearne Avenue, killing a four month old and critically injuring his mother.
Just one day later another woman died after being rear-ended by an 18-wheeler; this time on I-20 near Louisiana Downs. And in November, a woman died after a head-on collision with an 18-wheeler on Highway 80 at Highway 79.
There are important lessons other drivers can learn from these tragedies; what we call "The Rules of Sharing the Road."
RULE #1: If you're driving in front of a big rig you're in the danger zone, because trucks can't stop on a dime.
According to James Moorhead, a driver with Werner Enterprises, a loaded truck needs the length of two football fields to make a quick stop from highway speeds.
"For somebody to pull in front of us and slow down real quick, it's very very difficult for us to stop," he said.
RULE #2: The back of a truck is also in the danger zone. If you're following a big rig, don't follow too closely.
"If they can't see me stopping or see what's going on ahead of me and I step on the brakes and come to a quick stop, they aren't going to be able to stop in time and they'll run into the back of me," Moorhead said.
It's a problem so deadly a special bumper is now standard on all commercial trucks just to keep cars out of harms way. According to Bruce Busada, President of Diesel Driving Academy, the feature was added to trucks a few years ago because cars would travel too close to the back end of commercial trucks.
"When it would use its brakes to make a quick stop the cars would actually go underneath the trailer," he said.
RULE#3: Remember, if you can't see the trucks mirrors, the driver can't see you.
One of the most important things drivers can do when passing a truck is pay attention to it's mirrors.
"In a truck, even though we've got the mirrors on both sides, there are blind spots, like a car, but our blind spots are two to three times bigger," Moorhead said. That's why portions of both the left and right sides of a truck are also in the danger zone.
RULE #4: Don't take your time passing, or you could end up in a spot where the truck driver can't see you.
Moorhead says, "If you're passing a truck, go ahead and make a quick pass and get around him."
THE BOTTOM LINE: Stay out of the danger zones and always keep a safe traveling distance between you and any truck.
It's the safest way to share the road.