Be A Professional -- Don’t Tailgate

The professional truck driver not only represents his/her own company, but is also a "rolling advertisement" for the entire trucking industry. The motoring public views the actions of individual drivers as being typical of all truck drivers.

Being followed too closely by a large commercial vehicle arouses fearful and angry responses from the average driver. Tailgating is looked upon by the driving public as unprofessional behavior on the part of the commercial driver. It is also extremely dangerous -- in fact, it is so dangerous that it is considered to be a "serious traffic violation" under the commercial driver's license standards of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

A commercial driver convicted of a traffic violation for following the vehicle in front of him/her too closely will be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for sixty (60) days if this infraction is the driver's second offense of a serious traffic violation during any three (3) year period. A third serious traffic conviction in any three (3) year period will result in a commercial driver being disqualified for 120 days.

Keep Your Distance -- "The Four Second Following Rule"

By using the "Four Second Following Rule," the professional driver maintains a safe distance from the vehicle in front of him/her. Here's how it works -----

Wait until the vehicle ahead passes an object, such as a signpost -- Then count, "One thousand-one, One thousand-two..." up to four --- If you reach the signpost after that, you're allowing a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

If other vehicles enter your "Four Second" safety cushion, ease the throttle until you once again have a four (4) second interval with the vehicle ahead.... If there is any increase in driving time, it will be minimal. The important thing is that you will be driving defensively and will be helping to prevent accidents. By following this system, you will be enhancing your reputation as a professional driver and improving the image of your industry at the same time.