American Trucking Associations and its Share the Road highway safety program are urging Memorial Day travelers to focus on safe driving habits throughout the holiday weekend.
With more than 39.3 million Americans expected to travel more than 50 miles from home over the extended weekend, ATA is asking for all drivers to practice patience and focus on safety. This year is expected to have the highest travel volume for a Memorial Day since 2005.
“The fallen heroes who fought for our freedom served so that we could enjoy the comforts and safety of life in America, including the safe highways that we travel each day,” said Tim Melody, Share the Road professional truck driver of ABF Freight. “Truck drivers, like me, who continue to deliver goods during this holiday weekend hope that all motorists will go to great lengths to ensure safety.”
In order to assist truck drivers as they provide this service to the country, Share the Road’s drivers encourage all motorists to take steps to promote safe driving habits and make safe decisions during Memorial Day Weekend.
Share the Road drivers promote these safety tips to motorists, students, members of the media, and elected officials throughout the country while on tour with the Share the Road program. They emphasize these tips during major U.S. holidays to remind motorists of all ages about key elements of safe driving, especially relating to operating small passenger vehicles near large tractor-trailers.
- Buckle Up: Memorial Day weekend takes place during National Click It or Ticket Enforcement Week. Seat belts save lives. Day or night and even if you’re riding in the back seat – wear your seat belt.
- Slow Down: Chance of a crash nearly triples when driving faster than surrounding traffic. The spring and summer are periods when work zones are busiest. It is important to reduce speeds when traveling through those areas.
- Do not drive impaired: There is much to celebrate this time of year, including graduations, weddings and holidays seemingly every weekend. With that said, 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: 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.
- Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents, especially among younger drivers. 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.
- 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 strand motorists on the side of the road.
- Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early so you won't 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.
“As professional truck drivers, we hold an important responsibility of making safe decisions every moment of our work day,” said Micheal Sheeds, Share the Road professional truck driver of Werner Enterprises. “By following a few simple rules, members of the motoring public can greatly improve their driving behaviors to ensure that everyone makes it home safely this weekend.”
Share the Road is the highway safety outreach program of ATA aimed at educating drivers about sharing roads safely with large trucks. It is made of up a team of drivers with millions of accident-free miles that deliver the message to motorists around the country every year.