Road safety is important year round, but in the winter when weather can worsen driving conditions, it's important to be extra alert when you get behind the wheel. To assist, American Trucking Associations and America's Road Team Captains are spreading critical safety tips for traveling through adverse weather conditions.
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. Do not allow ice and snow to create additional blind spots on your vehicle.
Chances of a crash nearly triple when driving faster than surrounding traffic. Skidding becomes more likely at increased speeds, especially on icy roads.
A safety belt will not prevent a collision, but it will save a life.
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.
Avoid impaired drivers.
Report drunk drivers to 911 – after safely pulling over – and stay on the line to help locate the suspected vehicle. A call can save lives. Erratic breaking, weaving between lanes, straddling the centerline or taking excessively wide turns can all be signs of impaired driving.
Be aware of truck 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. Technology gifts are popular during the holiday season, but should not be operated 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. Consider this: fully loaded tractor-trailers can take the length of a football field plus both end zones to make a complete stop.
Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel.
Before you head out to see 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 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.
Source: American Trucking Associations
Published with permission from RISMedia.