Truck Smart and Drive To Stay Alive

Drive to Stay Alive and Truck Smart are brought to you by UDOT’s Motor Carrier Division. These two programs have the same goal of addressing drivers safety but to two different audiences. The Truck Smart program focuses on helping drivers develop a healthy respect for  large trucks and buses while the Drive to Stay Alive program encourages good safety habits among truck drivers. Both campaigns were started almost five years ago but were recently revitalized with a new website containing pamphlets and program information on safe driving.


Truck Smart is a program that serves to remind the motoring public of the importance of driving safely around large trucks. Jim Phillips, Utah’s Motor Carrier Training Coordinator said, “Statistically 75% of drivers and big rigs that are involved in an accident, the driver of the automobile is to blame.” 

The newly revitalized Truck Smart website contains driver education information including a student workbook where new drivers can learn how to safely drive with trucks on the road.  The site emphasizes four different aspects of driving with trucks that are important to remember while driving:

1. Know the “No Zone”

  • It’s important for drivers to remember that the front, back and sides of trucks are all “no Zones,” or blindspots,  for truck drivers. When a person is “Camping out” in these zones the driver cannot see you.

2.  Don’t Cut Off Trucks

  • Always give trucks enough room and never cut them off because their stopping distance is not the same as a smaller vehicle.

3. Stopping Distances

  • Trucks always need more time to stop than cars. Be careful when passing and make sure to never cut them off.

4. Wide Turns

  • Trucks have a higher center of gravity and therefore need more room to make turns.  Never try to squeeze past a truck in order to turn because you might just get hit as well.

Drive to stay alive is a program centered around truck drivers, and their passengers to remind all parties of safe driving habits while on the road. The program was primarily for truck drivers but the rules and safety tips apply to all.DTSA_Logo

Safe driving tips include:

Drowsy Driving: 

You are drowsy driving if:

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelid
  • Trouble remembering the last few miles driven
  • Repeated yawning
  • Trouble keeping your head up
  • Drifting, tailgating, or hitting shoulder rumble strip
  • Restlessness and irritability

Slowing down, don’t speed

  • Driving too fast can put your life at risk as well as the lives of those around you. Slowing down can make all the difference between a major or a minor accident.

Seat Belt Safety

  • Always buckle up. Period.

The Truck Smart team makes presentations to schools around the state. A presentation was recently given at Westlake High School where 70 student drivers were instructed on the importance of being “Truck Smart” while driving and how to “Drive to Stay Alive.”

Truck Smart and Drive To Stay Alive giving a presentation at Westlake High School.

Truck Smart and Drive To Stay Alive giving a presentation at Westlake High School.

Phillips summarized the education approach as following the same example of the “Buckle Up” program. Children were encouraged in grade schools to buckle up while driving. It’s the same idea with the “No Zone”, kids go home and tell their parents to buckle up or be Truck Smart and less accidents happen.

The division of Motor Carriers will be at the The Great Salt Lake Truck Show August 16-17 at Thanksgiving point. A booth about Truck Smart and Drive to Stay Alive will be on display with pamphlets and further information.


Drive To Stay Alive:

5 thoughts on “Truck Smart and Drive To Stay Alive”

  1. Jordan

    Hm.. You described your ideas in brief but in an appropriate manner. By reading your above post the drivers will make them more conscious. And I also hope they will be more willing to take some driving course. The institution may be you or another, but wherever they go it would be beneficial to all of us. The name you chosen for your designed courses attract me much. I appreciate you. Thanks for such workings.

  2. Marie

    Not sure why my comment is awaiting moderation. I simply was saying that we were taught about No Zones in driving class, and I believe this should be REQUIRED nationwide. Good policy.

  3. MiaCam

    I am creating an app for school, and I was wondering if I could have your permission to use the image in your blog. The one that says ‘Drive to Stay Alive’. I figured I should ask before I took it.

  4. Becky Parker

    Thank you for checking. Drive to Stay Alive is a specific brand for a program we have reaching out to truck drivers. Before I could say yes or no I would need to know details about your app and how you would use the logo/image. I would recommend reaching out to our program representatives at directly.

  5. truck

    This sounds like an interesting idea. I am personally terrified of trucks, when I pass by one on the road, I try to speed up so the amount of time that I am by the truck is really short. I think my fear is due to a childhood experience, I had a near death experience with a truck when I was a child. I admire you guys for comng up with this program.

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