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Trucking Industry Advises Travelers ahead of Winter Storm Mateo


Contact: Drew Mitrisin

February 8, 2018



Trucking Industry Advises Travelers ahead of Winter Storm Mateo

Highly-trained Safety Advocates Share Critical Driving Tips


Arlington, Virginia – Today, it’s cold. This weekend, it is going to be cold. Snowy, icy, rainy and other inclement conditions are expected to hit regions across the U.S., causing travel delays and creating unsafe driving conditions. American Trucking Associations and the greater trucking industry asks motorists to practice safe driving habits and pay close attention to forecasts throughout the weekend.


“Truck drivers are not weather experts, and therefore, we cannot be blamed if forecasts are wrong. But, we are highly-trained highway safety experts and have some suggestions for drivers this weekend,” said Share the Road professional truck driver Jon Brockway of Walmart Transportation. “Being from Maine, we are familiar with difficult driving conditions and know how to reduce risk, increase space between vehicles, and handle ice and snow.”


According to The Weather Channel, Winter Storm Mateo is expected to disrupt commutes throughout the northern Midwest over the next few days due to heavy snow. The snow could impact major metropolitan areas surrounding Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee, while other large cities could see moderate to light snow. Winter Storm Mateo covers a wide area, stretching more than 2,000 miles from Idaho to Maine.


“Truck drivers in Iowa are already dealing with snow and making preparations for additional accumulation,” said Share the Road professional truck driver Rhonda Hartman, of Old Dominion Freight Line. “We’re ready for it. We’re professionals. And we are counting on the motorists around us to understand the limitations of their vehicles, and our trucks, as we navigate through ice and snow. The tips we provide below are valuable pieces of advice that we are happy to share with the general public.”    


By Friday evening, snow will hit New York and extend into parts of New England, which may impact evening commutes or early weekend plans. The trucking industry continues to operate during major winter storms to provide critical goods to communities throughout North America. With temperatures expected to remain below freezing throughout several regions, and conditions expected to worsen, truck drivers recommend the motoring public take the following precautions during their Thursday night, Friday and weekend travels.


·        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 triples 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 truck 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.


·        Do not cut in front of large trucks: Remember trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them. Fully loaded tractor-trailers can take the length of a football field plus both end zones to make a complete stop. Ask your favorite quarterback how far that is. Hint: it’s far.


·        Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel: Before you head out to 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.


·        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.  


Share the Road professional truck drivers are safety advocates and, as such, are available to speak to members of the media, schools, lawmakers and community groups about the safest driving practices around commercial motor vehicles, especially in poor weather conditions.


Share the Road is a highway safety outreach program of the American Trucking Associations that educates all drivers about sharing the roads safely with large trucks. An elite team of professional truck drivers with millions of accident-free miles deliver life-saving messages to millions of motorists annually. The safety program is sponsored by Mack Trucks Inc., and supported by TA-Petro, Pre-Pass, Hyundai Translead, OmniTracs, SmartDrive, Mack Leasing, Bendix and Spireon.  www.atastr.org.  Follow the Share the Road on Twitter and Facebook.


American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on FacebookTrucking Moves America Forward.