We’ve all been there. Stuck behind an 18-wheeler with no way out. Inching closer does no good, neither does backing off. As the miles go by, we debate whether or not to pass, but the “How’s My Driving?” sticker strategically placed at eye level on the back of the semi reminds us that safety is important. Do we stay indefinitely or risk getting hit? What if there was a way to see what was coming so we would know when was a good time to overtake the tractor-trailer? In the name of road safety, Samsung Electronics recently introduced a concept truck with four monitors installed on its back doors that piece together to show one giant picture of the road ahead. This “Safety Truck” has cameras mounted in the front of the truck feeding a live view to the monitors that make up the video wall, which shows the drivers behind the truck exactly what the truck operator sees. The cameras also have a night-vision mode for around-the-clock capability. The clear view of what lies beyond the truck can help drivers make an informed decision about when is a good time to accelerate and pass. It can also reduce the risk of accidents caused by a truck’s sudden braking due to upcoming construction zones, animals crossing the street and road debris. While Samsung “has been able to confirm that the technology works,” it’s not quite ready for the mass market. Issues include cost and how to deal with practical issues such as weather and visibility changes. No matter how widespread these TVs become, drivers still have to use good judgment and share the road. Here are a few tips for passing:
- Always pass on the left.
- Signal before pulling out of the lane and when pulling back in.
- Allow plenty of room before switching back in front of the truck.
- Don’t pass in a no-passing zone.
- Be aware of cross winds.
- After passing, keep your speed up.