By: Bruce T. Pelletier
Dangerous Roads Ahead
Slow down. The life you save may be your own!
There are many dangerous challenges a professional driver must adapt during a 10 hour shift of slick, icy roads or poor visibility. In fact, the Department of Transportation estimates that 500,000 truck accidents each year and that one person is killed or injured every 16 minutes in The United States.
The good news is that commercial drivers are only involved in 2.4% of all traffic accidents and more then 75% of all collisions are caused by passenger vehicles. Furthermore, studies showed that 16% of all truck drivers made no provisions for safe driving and were at fault. Federal safety rules require a driver to slow down and use extreme caution under harsh weather conditions.
Winter driving should be approached strategically. Be sure to increase your following distance on slippery roads and look for black ice. When the air is warmer then the pavement, it causes moisture to quickly form. The fuel vapors leave oily patches that freeze and you will notice dark or dull appearances to the pavement.
Bridges, tunnels and overpasses are at high risk for black ice and make sure your tires are in good condition and provide substantial traction. You do not want to be caught off guard in this dangerous situation and avoid any sudden breaking or acceleration on slick and icy roads. This action may cause you to lose control of your vehicle by jackknifing or skidding off the road into a ditch.
Road construction is another hazard that you must face. Always be alert and prepared stop. There is no need to race though a work zone at 70 mph and kill someone. Apply some common sense while driving and scan ahead for pedestrians and road repair equipment.
If you are traveling under 35 mph along an interstate, use you four-way emergency flashers. This will warn other drivers that trouble is just ahead and for them to slow down.
In order to be a professional, you must think like one at all times. Share the road and do not drive like an ass-hole. The cops will give you a ticket and sooner or later you sorry ass will be taking the bus to work.
Until then, have fun and drive safe.