WISCONSINREPORT.COM (11/22/2010) - This Thanksgiving, an estimated 42.2 million motorists are expected to take to the road. Additional motorists and winter road conditions can lead to dangerous situations, so a team of million mile accident-free drivers are helping to make our roads safer.
America's Road Team Captains, elite professional truck drivers, are offering advice on how to navigate through highway traffic and arrive at your destination safely. Tips include:
- Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel: Check your wipers and fluids. Have your radiator and cooling system serviced. Simple maintenance can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road before you leave your home.
- Plan ahead: Before you get on a highway, know your exit by name and number, and watch the signs as you near the off-ramp. Drivers making unexpected lane changes to exit often cause accidents.
- Do not cut in front of large trucks: Remember that trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
- Check your emergency kit: Contents should include: battery powered radio, flashlight, blanket, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, maps, tire repair kit and flares.
- Be aware of changes in weather: Weather conditions across the U.S. will be changing - especially during early mornings and evenings with the cold. Watch for ice, snow and other weather related obstacles.
- 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.
- Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early so you won't be anxious about arriving late and to accommodate delays. Road conditions may change due to inclement weather or traffic congestion.
- 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.
- Slow Down: With the extra highway congestion due to Holiday travel, speeding becomes even more dangerous. Allow plenty of space cushion and reduce your speed.
- Buckle up: Safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent and are a simple way to increase your safety on the road.
"Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year," said America's Road Team Captain Greg Nauertz. "With so many motorists on the road, it's important to use caution and patience while driving. Following these rules for the road will ensure that we all arrive safely to our loved ones."
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.
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