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We all have a code for the road. The car we choose to drive, the music we listen to—it’s all part of how we get down the road. There’s no code more important than the  choices we make to drive safely. All too often we’re in a hurry to get where we’re going, and trying to pass slower traffic on the highway can be especially dangerous.


It’s tempting to squeeze around slower vehicles even when there isn’t adequate room or visibility in the passing lane, but the results can be catastrophic. So unless you know for sure that you can get around safely, take a pass on the pass. Make it part of driving safely every time you’re at the wheel. Make it part of your code.


Pass on the Pass – Make it your code.

Western North Dakota’s seeing more traffic than ever, so it’s important to share the road with the other passenger vehicles and trucks hoping to reach their destinations safely. To ensure your safety and that of others, follow these rules when driving near trucks, buses, semis or other large vehicles:


Don’t “hang out” beside trucks or buses.
Large vehicles have extensive blind spots on both sides. If you can’t see the driver’s face in his side-view mirror, he can’t see you—which may result in a collision if he moves into your lane.


Don’t tailgate.

Trucks and buses have huge “no-zones” directly behind them. The truck or bus driver can’t see your car in that spot, and you can’t see what’s going on ahead of you. If the truck or bus driver brakes suddenly, you’ll have no place to go. Leave extra room in front of your car.


Pass safely, or not at all.

Don’t cut in to the right lane immediately after passing. Truck and bus drivers need twice the time and space to stop as smaller passenger vehicles. Make sure the entire front of the truck or bus is visible in your rear-view mirror before moving to the right, and don’t slow down. Give them room.


Pay closer attention.

Never cross behind a truck that’s backing up.
Truck drivers don’t have a rear-view mirror and may not see you behind them.


Avoid the “squeeze play.”
Truck and bus drivers sometimes need to swing wide to the left to safely make a right turn. They can’t see cars squeezing in between them and the curb. Watch for their turn signals and give them room to turn.


What is the “no-zone?”
No-zones are danger areas around trucks and buses where crashes are more likely to occur. These include blind spots where your car disappears from the truck or bus driver’s view.



Speed increases crash severity.

The possibility of collision also increases because the vehicle travels further before stopping. Speed also contributes to deadly run-off-the-road crashes. NDDOT’s speed management program provides resources to law enforcement to reduce speed-related motor vehicle crashes that result in injury and death.

In 2015, nearly 25 percent of fatal crashes in North Dakota were speed-related.
In 2015, drivers between the ages of 18-29 accounted for nearly 45 percent of the crashes where speed and too fast for conditions were listed as contributing factors.
In 2015, one speed-related or too fast for conditions crash occurred every 3.2 hours in North Dakota.
In 2015, 32 percent of fatal crashes were speed or too fast for conditions-related in North Dakota.



  • Heed speed limits. Driving at a safe speed should be your Code for the Road.
  • Think ahead. The stopping distance at 20 mph is about 60 feet. At 65 mph you may travel 450 feet or more before stopping.
  • Be a good example. An aggressive driver is not a safe driver. An impatient driver is not a safe driver.
  • Know the road conditions and adjust your speed accordingly.


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