Elite Professional Drivers Encourage Safe Summer Driving Behaviors

Road Safety Should Be Priority Around Independence Day Congestion and Construction

Jul 01, 2015, 07:30 ET from American Trucking Associations

ARLINGTON, Va., July 1, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, members of American Trucking Associations' Share the Road Program, an elite group of drivers with millions of accident free miles to their name, urged motorists to exercise caution when taking to the highways this summer.

With an estimated 42 million people hitting the road for the Independence Day holiday and the summer construction season in full swing, Share the Road drivers made a number of recommendations to ensure highway safety.

"Whether you're off to the beach or to see the fireworks, celebrating our nation's birthday should be a joyous time," said Russ Simpson, a Share the Road professional driver with Holland based in South Vienna, Ohio, "but that doesn't mean it can't also be a safe time. Slow down, buckle up and exercise caution and good judgment around other vehicles."

Among the advice Simpson had for drivers was:

  • 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 due to 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.
  • 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.

In addition, Share the Road professional Kirk Weis, a Rio Rancho, N.M.-based driver with ABF Freight, reminded drivers that even after the holiday weekend is over, summertime is peak construction season on the roads and to be careful around ongoing roadwork.

"We all want good, smooth roads to travel on," said Weis, "but that sometimes means highway repairs. Be extra cautious when you see those signs and cones."

Weis said around construction zones drivers should:

  • Expect the unexpected because speed limits or traffic lanes may be changed.
  • Keep a safe distance from other traffic and construction workers and equipment.
  • Pay attention to signs and signals.
  • Avoid distractions because work zones present extra challenges and obstacles. Motorists need to pay attention to the road and their surroundings.

*Editors: Share the Road drivers are available to speak in your local area about safe driving tips during the Independence Day weekend and all throughout the summer.

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. The safety program is sponsored by Mack Trucks Inc. and Michelin North America Inc., and supported by TA-Petro, Pre-Pass, Hyundai Translead, OmniTracs, SmartDrive and Mack Leasing and Spireon.  www.atastr.org.  Follow the 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 or on Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward 

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SOURCE American Trucking Associations