Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at the Trucking Safety Blog. With the holidays here, we wanted to take a moment to talk about safety during the high season on our nation’s roads and highways. The fact is, truck drivers are making all the best and happiest deliveries, from turkeys to cranberries and all the fixin’s, but the most important delivery is the one that is made safely.
Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year and it is incumbent on both truck drivers and motorists to take extra care during this time of year. There is a lot to be thankful for this year, with a booming economy and plenty of prosperity to go around, which is why it is important to pay extra attention to basic safe driving skills.
Did you know that AAA estimates that over 54 million people will travel in excess of 50 miles this Thanksgiving? This represents the highest Thanksgiving travel number in over a decade. With the roads so crowded, it is advised that professional truck drivers exercise patience when heading down their routes.
A particularly helpful resource for both truck drivers and motorists is the American Transportation Research Institute’s Top 100 Truck Bottleneck List. This list provides average speed by time for many different areas around the country. Motorists traveling through unfamiliar regions and truck drivers looking to avoid the worst traffic snarls would find this list quite helpful.
Yet, congestion is not the only challenge that truck drivers and motorists face over the Thanksgiving holiday. Many areas around the country are likely to experience signification snow or rainfall. Winter driving conditions provide unique challenges for truck drivers. Extreme winter weather necessitates safe following distances, reduced speeds, and proper truck maintenance.
There are several critical factors that professional truck drivers must keep in mind as they traverse a wintery landscape. By following tried-and-true methods, truck drivers and motorists can ensure they remain safe on our nation’s roads and highways, no matter the conditions. The fact is, safe driving tips for anyone can be potentially life-saving. With reduced visibility and adverse conditions, paying close attention and thinking critically at the right times can make the difference between life and death.
Even professional truck drivers will be hitting the road in their passenger cars this Thanksgiving. For many, it may be easy to take for granted that they are no longer driving a big rig. Safety behind the wheel of a passenger car is just as important. Truck drivers who have the day off and are on their way to the family’s house for Thanksgiving should always make sure they:
- Buckle up: Seat belts will not prevent a collision, but they will save a life.
- Remove ice and snow: Just because you are in a passenger car, windows covered in snow and ice are still very dangerous.
- Slow down: After being behind the wheel of a semi, a lead foot comes easy behind the wheel of a passenger car. Don’t do it.
- Stay sober: Don’t let the joy of Thanksgiving turn into a sad story because you chose to get behind the wheel instead of sober up on the couch.
The fact is, Thanksgiving should be a joyous time for everyone. Whether you are a professional truck driver behind the wheel of your rig or you have the day off to spend time with your family, always keep safe driving tips in mind. Stay safe out there and have a wonderful Thanksgiving and happy start to your holiday season!