Professional drivers offer safe driving tips for Labor Day travel

virginia-newThe Virginia Trucking Association is urging the nearly 1 million motorists that are expected to travel on Virginia’s highways this Labor Day weekend to follow safety tips from America’s Road Team Captains, a team of professional truck drivers with millions of accident-free miles.

As motorists prepare for their last summer getaway, these safe professional drivers are offering advice on how to navigate through the increased highway traffic and arrive at your destination safely. AAA Travel reports the increase in those hitting the road this year is the highest since the 2008 Labor Day holiday.

America’s Road Team Captains offer the following safety tips to ensure our roadways are safe:

  • Perform a pre-trip inspection – Check your tire pressure, wipers and fluids. Simple maintenance before you leave home can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road.
  • Plan your trip – Know where you are going and be prepared to exit. Indecisive driving is a major cause of traffic problems.
  • Check the weather forecast and conditions – Weather conditions can change very quickly.  Be sure to check the forecast often. Do not attempt to drive through standing water.  Watch for road closures and detours.
  • Large Trucks Have Blindspots – If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can’t see you.
  • 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. A fully loaded tractor trailer takes the length of a football field and both end zones to come to a complete stop when driving at highway speeds.
  • 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.
  • Allow a Safety Cushion – Look 1/4 mile ahead for a safe path.  Leave yourself an out.
  • Slow Down – Chances of a crash nearly triples when driving faster than surrounding traffic.
  • 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.
  • Buckle Up – Safety belts are not a fashion statement – they save lives.
  • Abide by Traffic Rules – Follow traffic signs and signals – paying special attention to work zones is important during this high construction season.
  • Be Careful Backing Up – One in four preventable collisions involve backing up.  Be sure to look before backing up; walk around your car prior to departure.

Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest summer 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.”

Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest summer travel weekends,” said America’s Road Team Captain Don Biggerstaff, ABF Freight System, Inc., from Maiden, North Carolina. “There are additional motorists on the highway, with many in unfamiliar areas. For the sake of safety, drivers need to slow down, put your cell phones away, follow the rules of the road and be patient.”

The America’s Road Team would like to remind the motoring public that from driveway to highway, safety requires patience and dedication.

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