Delivery trucks crowding state highways: Roadshow

Q: Every morning I listen to Joe McConnell give traffic reports on KQED-FM radio. It seems that almost daily a big rig has overturned somewhere in the Bay Area, badly gumming up traffic. These are professional drivers, so why so many accidents?

Margaret Phillips,Oakland

A: A couple of reasons. Truck traffic has soared 28 percent in California from a year ago. More big rigs mean more crashes. Joe’s assessment: “Per capita, cars crash a lot more than big rigs. It’s just more of a problem when big rigs do. Car drivers are probably more often at fault too. They cut off and tailgate the pros.”

Q: I just got back from a road trip to Las Vegas. Wow, did I see a lot of trucks. It seemed like many more than I’ve seen on similar drives, especially coming back along I-5. Is it pandemic related, as we’re all ordering more stuff online? In the past, I’d see many Wal-Mart semis. Now? Amazon everywhere.

Chuck M.

A: Yes, and here’s a tip for driving with many trucks on the road. lf you can’t see yourself in the truck’s outside rear view mirror, the driver cannot see you, so back off. And Joe McConnell is right about cars driving around trucks: Don’t cut trucks off when you pass them, and don’t tailgate.

Q: The express lanes on Interstate 880 had barely opened when a new disruption began with work near Alvarado Boulevard. What is going on? Traffic is a mess in this area any time of day or night.

Jim Sepeda, Hayward

A: There is a traffic split in place for the southbound lanes of I-880 at the Fremont-Union City border to accommodate work on Patterson Slough Bridge. It’s needed to place k-rails, remove concrete median barriers and reconfigure lanes. This is the first stage of a year-long project to make the bridge safer.

The traffic split will last until November.

Q: Some unsafe folks use the truck passing lane on Kirker Pass Road for high-speed passing. I see it daily.

Bill Gardiner

A: Arggh. Not smart.

Q: Your column discussing wrong-way drivers reminded me of an incident years ago. A coworker had to attend a very early morning meeting in Stockton. As he entered the town, his first impression was of how friendly the pedestrians were, with so many people waving at him. Luckily he was able to turn off the one-way street onto a two-way street before anything serious happened.

Tracy Woodard, Martinez

A: He was one lucky dude.

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Author: Gary Richards