With millions of people set to hit the nation’s roads during a busy holiday season, safe driving practices are never more necessary, and that goes for both passenger car operators and truck drivers.
The high volume of vehicle traffic on the road during the holidays creates a complex problem for those on the road, from increased congestion to a major reduction in overall speed.
Safe Holiday Travel Tips
This high volume of road traffic makes safe driving measures more important than ever, especially as individuals make their way across the nation to see loved ones. One trucking safety advocacy group has even come out with an Instructional Video that spreads trucking safety messages to motorists.
The eight-minute video features professional truck drivers and provides a comprehensive look at different safe-driving habits that directly impact truckers. Fortunately, the video has already been seen by hundreds of thousands of viewers.
Every trucking safety advocacy group will tell you their goal is to ensure the safest highways possible, and considering the trucking industry invests billions in safety technologies, the last thing they want is for that investment to be in vain.
The following safe driving tips apply to both professional truck drivers and anyone else sharing the road with them this holiday season.
- Make sure to buckle your safety belt.
- Ensure maximum visibility by removing snow and ice from your vehicle before hitting the road.
- Drive slower than necessary, especially in cold, windy, icy or snowy conditions.
- Remember that when you drive faster than surrounding traffic, you triple your chances of winding up in a collision.
- Always be mindful of your blind spots, whether you are driving a passenger car or heavy-duty commercial motor vehicle.
- Stay focused on the road, as distracted driving is one of the major reasons for road accidents today.
- Avoid cutting people off, especially large trucks.
- Always check your vehicle to ensure wipers, fluids, and other critical maintenance items are all in working order before you get in and turn the key.
You also want to make sure you are getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated. Spending long hours in a vehicle can be more taxing on your system than you may expect. Be prepared by preparing ahead of time.
Volvo Doubles Down on Safety
In the world of trucking industry safety advocacy, Volvo Truck’s Traffic and Product Director Carl Johan Almqvist recently presented at the American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition. During his presentation, Almqvist stressed a common-sense approach to tackling trucking’s most vexing safety dilemmas.
“Every year, about 1.2 million people are killed in road traffic accidents worldwide. That’s the equivalent in lives lost to having 10 airliners crash every day. If that were to happen, we would ground all airplanes,” he said.
He went on to point to the fact that we should never be okay with a feeling of complacence, or persistent thought that “it will never happen to me.” He stressed that even one highway fatality is one too many, and noted that Volvo’s vision is to produce trucks that can lay claim to zero accidents.
He also outlined a 2017 report that found the most important focus areas for increased safety in trucking. They included:
- More seat belt use;
- Better truck driver awareness;
- Better visibility both inside and outside the cab;
- Direct feedback coaching and training initiatives, and;
- Active safety system development.
The fact is, the trucking industry can still do much more to improve safety outcomes both on and off the road. It is good to see manufacturers getting in on the action. All players within the trucking industry have a stake in seeing improved safety on our nation’s roads.
So, as you set out this holiday season, please take greater care on the roads. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!