As an estimated 29.7 million motorists prepare to hit the highway this Labor Day weekend, American Trucking Association is joining forces with America’s Road Team Captains to spread the word about safe driving.
According to AAA Travel, the number of travelers this year is the highest since the 2008 Labor Day holiday. America’s Road Team Captains, a group of professional truck drivers all with a history of accident-free driving, offer the following safety advice to motorists nationwide:
(From the ATA)
* Perform a pre-trip inspection – Check your tire pressure, wipers and fluids. Simple maintenance before you leave home can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road..
* Plan your trip – Know where you are going and be prepared to exit. Indecisive driving is a major cause of traffic problems.
* Check the weather forecast and conditions – Weather conditions can change very quickly. Be sure to check the forecast often. Do not attempt to drive through standing water. Watch for road closures and detours.
* Large Trucks Have Blindspots – If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can’t see you.
* Do not cut in front of large trucks – Remember that trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them. A fully loaded tractor trailer takes the length of a football field and both end zones to come to a complete stop when driving at highway speeds.
* Pay Attention – Distracted driving is a leading cause of crashes. Looking away for even two seconds doubles the chances of an accident. Turn cell phones and PDAs off.
* Allow a Safety Cushion – Look 1/4 mile ahead for a safe path. Leave yourself an out.
* Slow Down – Chances of a crash nearly triples when driving faster than surrounding traffic.
* Keep extra water in your vehicle – Just as you keep a winter driving kit in your vehicle, it is important to be prepared when driving during the summer months. Keep plenty of extra water, sunscreen and non-perishable snacks in your car in case you are stranded.
* Buckle Up – Safety belts are not a fashion statement – they save lives.
* Abide by Traffic Rules – Follow traffic signs and signals – paying special attention to work zones is important during this high construction season.
* Be Careful Backing Up – One in four preventable collisions involve backing up. Be sure to look before backing up; walk around your car prior to departure.
America’s Road Team Captains would also like to remind the motoring public that no matter where you may be traveling, safety requires patience and dedication.