MOLINE, Ill., July 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Trucking Associations' Share the Road highway safety tour delivered a message of highway safety here today at the headquarters of ATA member Tennant Truck Lines.
The tour visited Moline at a particularly important time for highway safety with millions of Americans taking to the highways during the summer and states undertaking important construction projects.
American Trucking Associations, Tennant Truck Lines, Mack Trucks, Michelin North America and members of the trucking community joined the elite group of drivers to discuss highway safety on our highways and to give tips for safe summer driving. The Moline stop demonstrated to drivers how to share the road safely with large trucks.
"Let's face it, most of us are not comfortable passing a truck or sharing the road," said Aaron Tennant, President, Tennant Truck Lines. "The Share the Road program allows us to know the right way to pass a truck, why we shouldn't tailgate a big rig, the consequences of cutting a truck off, and many other life-saving tips to allow us to get to our destination safely," Tennant added.
Featured at today's event were professional truck drivers Bill Minor, Con-way Freight; Don Logan, FedEx Freight, Nate Wick, UPS Freight and Randall Luschen, Weinrich Truck Line. Those drivers are members of an elite team of million-mile, accident-free truck drivers who deliver the trucking industry's safety messages across the country.
"Share the Road allows me as a truck driver to give people life-saving advice. Most automobile drivers were never taught what they can do to avoid an accident with a tractor-trailer," Luschen said during the event.
Today's presentation of Share the Road safety measures is important to area motorists because, according to federal statistics, 35% of truck-involved highway fatalities occur in a truck's blind spot and roughly three-quarters of all truck-involved fatalities are unintentionally initiated by car drivers.
"Summer travel often means driving on less familiar roads – so it is all the more important to pay attention, put your phone down and not get behind the wheel if you've had too much summer fun," said Minor, a Share the Road professional with Con-way Freight. "And of course, it is always important to buckle up."
Following the safety demonstration today at Tennant Truck Lines, reporters, photographers and political leaders had the opportunity to get up in the cab of the tractor-trailer and ride-a-long with the professional driver. From the truck driver's perspective they viewed safe merging and stopping distances, and learned up close and personal some of the differences between how cars and large trucks operate on the highways. Today's demonstration was designed to teach specific skills in order for motorists to drive safely around other automobiles and around trucks on the highways, so that they arrive safely at their destinations. (See the attached Share the Road safety guidelines.)
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
ATA Share The Road Safety Guidelines for Motorists
- Never cut in front of a truck - Fully loaded trucks weigh up to 80,000 pounds and take the length of a football field to stop. Most cars weigh only 3,000 pounds.
- Don't linger alongside a truck - There are large blind spots around trucks where cars momentarily "disappear" from view and the truck driver can't see you.
- Pass trucks quickly - To make themselves visible cars should not linger near trucks, and should move past them or slow down to back off, out of the blind spot.
- Changing lanes - Change lanes when you can see both of the truck's headlights in your rearview mirror.
- If possible, pass a truck on the left, not on the right - A truck's blind spot on the right runs the length of the trailer and extends out 3 lanes. Motorists should try to avoid passing through this large blind spot.
- Keep a safety cushion around trucks - Try to leave a 10-car length safety cushion in front of a truck and stay back 20-25 car lengths. Following a truck too closely obscures your view.
- Check the truck's mirrors - If you're following a truck and you can't see the driver's face in the truck's side mirrors, the truck driver can't see you.
- Allow trucks adequate space to maneuver – Trucks make wide turns at intersections and require additional lanes to turn, so motorists should allow a truck the space it needs to maneuver.
For additional information about Share the Road, please contact ATA at 703-838-1836
ATA Share The Road Summer Safety Tips
- Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel: Check your wipers and fluids. Have your radiator and cooling system serviced. Simple maintenance can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road before you leave your home.
- 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.
- 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.
- Check your emergency kit: Contents should include: battery powered radio, flashlight, blanket, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, maps, tire repair kit and flares.
- 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.
- 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.
- Be aware of the vehicle in front of you: Leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front so you can avoid snow and ice blowing onto your windshield or maneuver around patches of ice.
- Slow Down: With the extra highway congestion due to summer travel, speeding becomes even more dangerous. Allow plenty of space cushion and reduce your speed.
- Buckle up: Safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent and are a simple way to increase your safety on the road.
- Constructions Zones:
- 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.
SOURCE American Trucking Associations