America’s road team captains offer life saving tips for Labor Day travel

roads-newThe Virginia Trucking Association is urging the the nearly 1 million Virginians expected to travel our highways over the Labor Day weekend to drive safely and follow several simple tips in order to keep this a safe holiday.

“Labor Day Weekend typically means an increase in traffic as motorists try to squeeze in that last summer trip before kids go back to school and the weather gets cool,” said America’s Road Team Captain Richie Buitrago (Con-way Freight). “Safe driving habits are even more important with additional motorists on the road and nothing beats a little extra planning, preparation and patience so that every family is safe on our highways.”

Tips include:

  • 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.
  • Use a map or GPS: Surprisingly, few motorists plan their routes, even when driving through unfamiliar areas. Knowing the road is essential for safe driving – it allows you to anticipate lane changes and avoid a panicked search for directions.
  • Leave early and avoid risks:  Leave early and allow for delays in your travel schedule. Know your limitations: don’t drive when tired, upset or physically ill.
  • Be aware of trucks’ 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.
  • Buckle up: Safety belts are not a fashion statement – they save lives.
  • Slow down: Chances of a crash nearly triples when driving faster than surrounding traffic.
  • Abide by traffic rules: Follow traffic signs and signals – paying special attention to work zones is important during this highconstruction season.
  • Keep extra water in your vehicle: Just as you keep a winter driving kit in your vehicle, it is important to be prepared when driving during the summer months. Keep plenty of extra water, sunscreen and non-perishable snacks in your car in case you are stranded.
  • Pay Attention: Distracted driving is a leading cause of crashes. Looking away for even two seconds doubles the chances of an accident.  Turn cell phones and PDAs off.

“Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest travel weekends in the Commonwealth,” said Virginia Trucking Association President & CEO Dale Bennett.  “There are additional drivers on Virginia’s highways, with many of them traveling in unfamiliar areas.”


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