Driver talks about safety after slew of semi accidents

Posted at 6:24 PM, Apr 05, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-05 18:31:51-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - After a slew of recent semi accidents in Central Virginia, one big rig driver is opening up about the challenges of the job.

Ron Floyd, who owns Floyd Trucking, said he is always looking out for the slightest mishap by other drivers.

Floyd knows the career can be dangerous at times since he has been hauling goods for 17 years.

“I’ve never had an accident but plenty of close calls. I’m always making it a point to keep a safe distance, but cars will cut you off and hit brakes,” said Floyd.

On a recent ride along with Floyd, CBS 6 News' Shelby Brown saw the conditions first-hand.

Floyd pointed out the erratic behavior as some cars zipped in and out of traffic in front of him.

Floyd also talked about the recent accidents involving tractor trailers this week.

State police said one driver was cited for following too closely after he bumped a GRTC bus. The bus slammed into a car, which plowed into the back of a packed school bus.

Another tractor trailer carrying hay overturned stalling traffic on I-95 for hours.

However, AAA Mid Atlantic's Windy Van Curen said the agency has not seen an increase in semi accidents, but that they are concerned about the recent accidents.

“It’s important to remember that the average tractor trailer weighs 80,000 pounds. That’s 25 times the normal weight of a car," said Van Buren. "You have got to be careful. Those trucks are harder to maneuver and have huge blind spots. You’ve just got to be careful and give them room."

Floyd agreed, but said truckers must also do their part and not push the safety limits out on the road.

In fact, Floyd said for many drivers, things pick up this time of the year.

“It’s that time of year when produce is picking up, people have a lot of runs," he said. "They’re just trying to get from a to b and still make it by a certain time. But when time is running short, some people still try to make it. That can contribute to accidents. You just have to play it safe. You’ve got to make it there in one piece."