Regardless of time of year, millions of Americans hit the road every day. Sharing the road requires motorists to exercise caution and good judgment and common courtesy. Unfortunately, in the real world this is not the case and truck drivers need to be proactive in practicing road safety.
This is particularly important for delivery truck drivers during the summer and on holiday weekends. During these times, out of town visitors are driving on roads that are less familiar to them. It’s important to pay attention, put your phone down and as always, buckle up.
The best defense is a good understanding of how motorists SHOULD behave, but sometimes don’t. Tips and tactics that motorists are urged to heed are:
- Buckle up: Safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% and are a simple way to increase your safety on the road.
- Slow Down: With the extra highway congestion during holiday travel, speeding becomes even more dangerous. Allow plenty of space between you and other vehicles and reduce your speed.
Don’t drive impaired: The holidays are often a time for merriment, but if you’ve had too much to drink, don’t get behind the wheel.
- 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.
- Be aware of truck blind spots: When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of their blind spots. If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can’t see you.
- Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel: Check your wipers and fluids. Have your radiator and cooling system serviced. Simple maintenance before you leave your home can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road.
- Be aware of the vehicle in front of you: Leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front.
- Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident. Use your cell phone when stopped and never text while driving.
- Plan ahead: Before you get on a highway, know your exit by name and number, and watch the signs as you near the off-ramp. Drivers making unexpected lane changes to exit often cause accidents.
- Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early so you won’t be anxious about arriving late and to accommodate delays. Road conditions may change due to inclement weather or traffic congestion.
While there are organizations with highway safety outreach programs to educate the public, truck drivers need to be on point and aware of the situation around them at all times. Knowing the rules of the road is one thing. Being aware that not everyone on the road follows the rules all of the time is another. Be safe out there!