ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- American Trucking Associations and ATA's Share the Road highway safety program have provided safe driving tips for those who will be traveling this week during the Thanksgiving holiday.
This Thanksgiving, the trucking industry will safely deliver 46 million turkeys (an estimated 1.4 billion pounds) – along with all of the sides – 214 million pounds of potatoes, 50 million pounds of sweet potatoes, 19 million pumpkin pies, and 80 million pounds of cranberries, to ensure Thanksgiving dinner is complete.
"It is important to put safety first while driving on the highways to ensure everyone can make it to the dinner table," said ATA Share the Road professional truck driver Gary Martin of FedEx Ground. "As a family man and a professional truck driver, I am one of the last drivers on the road, delivering all the trimmings necessary for Thanksgiving. I hope my fellow motorists will consider safety as they travel to their Thanksgiving destinations."
While AAA projects less than 50 million Americans will travel this Thanksgiving holiday, 10% less than previous years, a majority of those will be hitting the highways and sharing the road with professional truck drivers. ATA's Share the Road's Instructional Video, featuring million mile accident free professional truck drivers, gives an eight-minute recap of critical safe-driving habits.
"Thanksgiving offers several other driving challenges beyond traffic congestion, said Share the Road professional truck driver Todd Wilemon of Ravenwood Transport. Winter driving presents unique problems for motorists, including high wind and blowing snow, which contributes to reduced visibility in many regions throughout North America. Similarly, freezing temperatures can have a profound impact on vehicles and the roadways. A thorough pre-trip inspection and understanding of driving conditions can play a significant role in driving success this holiday season."
ATA's Share the Road is committed to spreading the message of safety. Share the Road professional drivers recommend planning and coordinating travel plans ahead of time, as well as following the below safety tips. This safe driving guidance applies to all motorists, and is crucial when operating small passenger vehicles near large tractor-trailers:
Buckle Up: A seat belt will not prevent a collision, but it will save a life.
Remove ice and snow from your vehicle: Clear your windows and roof of snow to ensure you have maximum visibility and avoid creating a hazard for the vehicle behind you. Don't allow ice and snow to create additional blind spots on your vehicle.
Slow Down: Chances of a crash nearly triples when driving faster than surrounding traffic.
Do not drive impaired: Driving is a great responsibility, and your fellow travelers are relying on safe, attentive drivers to respectfully share the road and make good decisions.
Be aware of truck blind spots: Trucks deliver your favorite Thanksgiving traditions – turkeys, cranberries, mashed potatoes and all kinds of tasty pies – so make it easy on them by staying out of blind spots. Pass on the left where the truck's blind spot is much smaller.
Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents and one of the leading causes of death amongst teenagers. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident. Use your cell phone when stopped and 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. Fully loaded tractor-trailers can take the length of a football field plus both end zones to make a complete stop. Ask your favorite quarterback how far that is. Hint: it's far.
Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel: Before you head out to your aunts, uncles and cousins, check your wipers and fluids and 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.
Prepare yourself for long distance travel: The vehicle needs maintenance, and the driver needs plenty of rest and hydration to function at his or her best. If the turkey is making you feel drowsy, pull over and wait until you are more alert.
Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early to reduce anxiety 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.
A reminder to those who are considering travel that staying home and avoiding large-group gatherings is the best way to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.
In addition, ATA and Share the Road encourage Americans to make smart decisions regarding travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. With experts discouraging travel this year, keeping off the roads to allow essential workers like truck drivers and medical personnel can help everyone be safe this holiday season.
**Professional drivers are available for media interviews through the ATA Office of Public Affairs**
Share the Road is a highway safety outreach program of the American Trucking Associations that educates all drivers about sharing the roads safely with large trucks. An elite team of professional truck drivers with millions of accident-free miles deliver life-saving messages to millions of motorists annually. Follow Share the Road on Twitter and Facebook.
American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation's freight. Follow ATA on Twitter, Facebook, or at Trucking Moves America Forward.