As RVers and other motorists prepare for July 4th vacation travel, a team of million mile accident-free truck drivers are helping to make our roads safer. AAA estimates that over 39 million Americans will drive 50 miles or more this coming weekend. America’s Road Team Captains, elite professional truck drivers chosen by the American Trucking Associations, are offering advice on how to safely navigate through highway traffic and congestion this summer and, at the same time, save costly fuel.
“Traffic increases during the summer months as families head out for vacations,” said America’s Road Team Captain Danny Fuller. “Even with gas prices what they are, I’m seeing many additional cars on the road. This means safe driving habits become all the more important and everyone should slow down and follow the rules of the road.”
America’s Road Team Captains agree that the first step toward a safe trip begins in the driveway before you leave home, the American Trucking Associations report in a recent news release.
1. Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel
Check your wipers and fluids. Have your radiator and cooling system serviced. Simple maintenance before you leave home can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road.
2. Properly inflate your tires
Properly inflated tires can save you up to four percent in fuel mileage, while under and over inflation can lead to tire failure. Ensure that you routinely check your tire pressure.
3. Drive the speed limit
Lower speeds not only save money at the pump, they also make you safer on the road. By maintaining a constant moderate speed, drivers can save up to 30 percent on fuel and are better able to react to road conditions and other drivers—so slow down!
4. Large Trucks Have Blind Spots
Be aware that tractor-trailers have large areas around their trucks where other vehicles are not visible. If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver is unable to see you. Keep in mind that this applies also to large recreational vehicles, especially Class A motorhomes.
5. Keep extra water in your vehicle
Just as you keep a winter driving kit on board, it is important to be prepared when driving during the summer months. Keep plenty of extra water, sunscreen, and non-perishable snacks in your vehicle in case you’re stranded.
6. Wait until parked to use cell phones
Driver distraction is a major cause of traffic accidents. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident.
7. Do not cut in front of large trucks and RVs
Since trucks and recreational vehicles are heavier than cars and take longer to come to a complete stop, avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
8. Honor the Right of Way
Keep in mind that highway traffic has the right of way On entrance ramps; maintain proper speed, using smooth merging techniques, and don’t slow down in front of a large rig.
9. Road side emergency
Understand that big trucks cannot always stop to assist you, but most will use their radios to contact the police or highway patrol if they see you are in trouble.
10. Save fuel
To save fuel, take direct routes, minimize side trips, and maintain a steady speed. Also, a well-tuned engine, properly inflated tires, and reduced speed will result in noticeable fuel savings.
The America’s Road Team would like to remind the motoring public that from driveway to highway, safety requires patience and dedication.
The America’s Road Team, sponsored by Volvo Trucks North America, is a national public outreach program led by a small group of professional truck drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records, and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway.
The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences, and its 50 affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States.
Take time to see the special in the ordinary this weekend. Every sunset is a gift.
Speed was high
Weather was hot
Tires were thin
X marks the spot