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Arizona Commercial Driver's Safety Responsibilities

Those with Commercial Driver's Licenses (CDL) have many additional safety responsibilities, as drivers of large, heavy trucks on Arizona Interstates and roads.

There are three classes of CDLs, the class depends upon the weight of the vehicle, or the unit towed, or the number of passengers (16 or more including the driver), or whether hazardous materials are involved.

Operating a commercial vehicle is wholly unlike operating a car, given the weight and nature of the cargo. Trucker negligence can result in serious injuries and fatalities.

Driving too fast for conditions, including curves, visibility, traffic and hills, is a major cause of fatal crashes. Controlling the speed of a commercial vehicle is critical, given the effect of vehicle speed and weight on stopping distances. Trucks need to provide enough time and space when slowing down or stopping, given how long it takes for a rig to stop.

Stopping distance is directly affected by the time and distance it takes for the driver to perceive and recognize a hazard, react, and the resulting braking distance.

Speed increases on downgrades because of gravity, factors that must be considered by a driver include the weight of the vehicle, the length and steepness of the grade, and road conditions.

Truck drivers also need to be particularly careful near highway work zones. Many work zone collisions are avoidable by controlling speed, paying attention to signs and keeping a safe distance between the truck and construction workers and equipment.

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