Yesterday as I was traveling from home to Northern Virginia, I was intimidated more than once by semi trucks. When I was young and interstate highways were just being developed, semi trucks were about 35 feet long. That was intimidating to a new driver then. I am not a new driver, I’ve had a license for more than 5 decades and I have an excellent driving record. My trip takes me on I81, a major north south route through the western part of Virginia. It intersects and superimposes over I64 a major east west route for about 30 miles. Both of these roads are heavily traveled by trucks. It is rare to see a 35 foot truck now, most have 53 foot trailers or two 35 foot tandem trailers. On this trip I saw a few of the longer tandems.
I’m sure that for the most part they are safe drivers, but that route experiences a semi accident about 5 times a week, especially in 2 counties it traverses. It is frightening to get boxed in by these behemouths with them in front and too close behind as well as one or more in the left lane. On 2 occasions yesterday, I had one try to pass me when I was in the right lane doing the posted 70 mph speed limit, then discover he could not get up the hill at the speed he was going and lane change back to my lane with insufficient clearance causing me to have to brake quickly with another semi on my back bumper.
It is a joy to travel in states where semis are not permitted in the left lane, Virginia is not one of those states. It would be nice if more funds were invested in the rail infrastructure and send more of our cargo by rail. Once the train leaves from a city closer than 2 hours from home, I will chose that mode of travel.