What You Don’t Know About Riding Alongside a Semi-Truck

Seriously, this could save your life.

Elizabeth Eve
5 min readApr 21, 2021


Photo by Caleb Ruiter on Unsplash

Cliff Williams, at age eighty, just retired after sixty years and over six million miles on the road. Yes, you read that right: SIXTY YEARS ON THE ROAD and SIX MILLION MILES. Throughout his trucking career, due to his meticulous driving record and, for lack of a better phrase, stickler for safety, he was heavily involved in trucking associations that ensured safety regulations were being adhered to, rode with state troopers, and more than once, was named a state and national champion in the annual Truck Driving Championships. Not to mention his philanthropic efforts delivering essential goods to disaster areas.

As we spoke about his long and fulfilling career, he feels one of the biggest challenges in the industry is the public’s lack of education on how to drive alongside trucks, “it’s just not emphasized enough in driving schools,” he says.

We need to stop putting trucks in difficult positions. The first step is awareness; it just might save a life.

Truckers surround us yet remain an invisible population seen as nuances of the road. Really, we are the nuances that don’t give trucks proper space, and we make an already tough job even harder. Of course, there are exceptions on both sides of the street (pun intended), but I speak in generalizations.

We need to start giving truckers the same courtesy on the road we expect from them.

Because of the lack of education, we don’t even realize we’re doing anything wrong. My conversation with Clifford enlightened me, and I feel obligated to share what I learned. Quite frankly, it is essential information for every driver to know. In addition to speaking with Cliff, this information was obtained through my conversations with other truck drivers when asked what they would like the public to know, and CMV Road Sharing, a trucking safety website.

Let’s face it; truckers have a bad rap. They are perceived to be at fault in an accident no matter what.

To start, a fully-loaded 18-wheeler truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Most passenger cars weigh around 3,000 pounds. In simplest…



Elizabeth Eve

Forever a work in progress. Writing about pets, body image, self, and other reflections. Always written with vulnerability and authenticity.