Today, the West Virginia Trucking Association (WVTA), in partnership with the American Trucking Associations' Share the Road Program, is urging motorists to take care as many are heading out to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday this weekend.
"Whether you're heading to the beach, a family barbecue or to watch the fireworks and celebrate our nation's birthday, it is important to be mindful of other vehicles and to be courteous and responsible on the road," said Traci Nelson, member services coordinator of the West Virginia Trucking Association.
It promises to be a record-breaking travel weekend according to AAA, who has estimated that 44.2 million Americans will drive more than 50 miles from home. With 1.25 million more travelers than last year, 2017 will be marked as the most traveled Independence Day holiday weekend ever. Those extra vehicles will create more congestion and potential for crashes.
The Share the Road Program is offering the following tips to remind motorists about some key elements of safe driving, especially relating to operating small passenger vehicles near large tractor-trailers.
Safe Driving Tips include:
- Buckle Up: Seat belts save lives. Day or night and even if you're riding in the back seat – wear your seat belt.
- Slow Down: Chances 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 a lot to celebrate this time of year, with 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. 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.
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