Washington – With an estimated 55.4 million people traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday this year, the American Trucking Associations and professional drivers from ATA’s Share the Road program are encouraging Americans to practice safety on the roads.
In addition to congestion, Thanksgiving travelers may face wintry weather such as winds, snow and ice. Freezing temperatures can create treacherous conditions and reduce visibility on the road, so drivers must be alert in the face of unpredictable conditions. In addition, stress and revelry can put additional anxiety on drivers as they head home for the holidays.
“As a truck driver from Maine, I have been trained to deal with wintery road conditions,” said Share the Road Professional Truck Driver Ronald Round of Bison Transport USA. “It is important to make sure your vehicle is prepared for extended trips. Check your wiper fluid and antifreeze, and pack a few extra blankets before you pull out of the driveway in case of an emergency.”
“Given the high volume of travelers for Thanksgiving, it is important to implement safe driving measures so everyone can make it to the dinner table,” said Share the Road Professional Truck Driver Gina Jones of Werner Enterprises. “As a professional truck driver, I am delivering all the trimmings necessary for Thanksgiving. I hope my fellow motorists will consider these safe driving tips when traveling to their Thanksgiving destinations.”
- Buckle Up: Safety belts save lives. Day or night – and even if you are riding in the back seat – wear your safety belt.
- Slow Down: The chance of a crash nearly triples when driving faster than surrounding traffic. Icy conditions can make the roads slippery. Slowing down your vehicle will help you avoid losing control.
- Do not drive impaired: There is much to celebrate this time of year during the holiday season. With that said, driving is a great responsibility, and your fellow travelers are relying on safe and attentive drivers to respectfully share the road and make good decisions.
- Be aware of truck blind spots: When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of their blind spots. If you cannot see the professional truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the professional truck driver cannot see you.
- Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents, especially among young drivers. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident. Never text while driving.
- Do not cut in front of large trucks: Remember trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
- 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 might strand motorists on the side of the road.
- Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early so you will not be anxious about arriving late. Road conditions may change due to inclement weather or traffic congestion.
- Be aware of the vehicle in front of you: Leave extra room between you and the vehicle ahead.
- Understand congestion patterns: High traffic volumes lead to greater opportunities for accidents, so plan your trip to avoid traffic bottlenecks and increased traffic volumes.