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Safety tips for holiday driving

Millions of Americans are on the road this season traveling for the holidays. In fact, according to the American Trucking Association (ATA), nearly 53 million Americans drive over 50 miles for the Thanksgiving holiday alone. While busy roads are nothing new to a CDL-A truck driver, there are a few things to keep in mind that may help everyone (CDL-A or four-wheelers) have a safer and therefore happier holiday. Here are ATA’s tips:

  • Buckle Up: A seat belt will not prevent a collision, but it will save a life.
  • Remove ice and snow from your vehicle: Clear your windows and roof of snow to ensure you have maximum visibility and avoid creating a hazard for the vehicle behind you. Don’t allow ice and snow to create additional blind spots on your vehicle.
  • Slow Down: Chances of a crash nearly triple when driving faster than surrounding traffic.
  • Do not drive impaired: 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 blind spots: Make it easy on CDL-A truck drivers by staying out of blind spots. Pass on the left where the truck’s blind spot is much smaller.
  • Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents and one of the leading causes of death amongst teenagers. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident. Use your cell phone when stopped and never text while driving.
  • Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel: Before you head out to visit your aunts, uncles and cousins, check your wipers and fluids and 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.
  • Prepare yourself for long distance travel: The vehicle needs maintenance, and the driver needs plenty of rest and hydration to function at his or her best. If the turkey is making you feel drowsy, pull over and wait until you are more alert.
  • Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early to reduce anxiety 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.