Arlington, Virginia – Today, American Trucking Associations and ATA’s America’s Road Team are sharing highway safety tips for this holiday weekend and urging all travelers to take extra precaution when traveling our nation’s highways.
“Independence Day is all about getting together with family and friends to celebrate our freedoms safely,” said ATA Chair Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, president and CEO of Garner Transportation Group. “Planning your trip ahead of time and practicing a few simple tips makes a significant difference in creating a safe environment on the highways and making holiday travel easier for everyone, including America’s professional truck drivers.”
More than 47.7 million Americans will take to the nation’s roadways and skies this Independence Day, as travel volumes are expected to nearly fully recover to pre-pandemic levels, according to AAA. This will be the second-highest Independence Day travel volume on record, trailing only 2019. This record number of traveler’s means there will be more traffic and congestion on the highways, making it even more important to drive with caution.
“With Americans anxious to hit the highways to celebrate in-person this year, practicing safe driving is vital,” said America’s Road Team Captain April Coolidge, a professional truck driver with Walmart Transportation. “As many travel for the first time since the start of the pandemic, we are urging motorists to plan ahead, apply these simple safety tips, and most importantly be patient so that everyone can get to their destinations safely.”
“Doing small things as simple as buckling your safety belt, putting away your cell phone, and leaving an appropriate following distance between you and other cars can all play a part in safe driving,” said America’s Road Team Captain Jim Clark, a professional truck driver with Penske Logistics. “Using these tips from professional truck drivers can drastically increase highway safety for everyone.”
America’s Road Team Captains with millions of safe driving miles offer these safety tips to remind motorists about key elements of safe driving, especially relating to operating small passenger vehicles near large tractor-trailers:
- Buckle Up: Independence Day is a time of high congestion on the highways and wearing your safety belt saves lives. Remember to buckle up at all times.
- Slow Down: The chances of a crash nearly triple when driving faster than surrounding traffic. The spring and summer are periods when work zones are busiest in this country. It is important to reduce speeds when traveling through those areas over the holiday.
- Do not drive impaired: We have a lot of freedoms to celebrate during Independence Day, but impaired driving is not one of those freedoms and jeopardizes the freedoms of others. Consider the safety of yourself and others by planning ahead for your holiday. It’s always better to play it safe.
- Be aware of truck blind spots: When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of where their blind spots are. If you can't see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can't see you.
- 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 only when stopped and never text while driving.
- Do not cut in front of large trucks: Remember trucks are heavier and a fully loaded truck traveling at highway speeds needs about the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
- Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel: Check your wipers, fluids, and tire pressure. 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. Don’t forget barbeque ingredients either!
- Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early so you won't be anxious about arriving late. Many major cities can expect delays 3x worse than normal. 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 in case of sudden stops.
- Watch for children in neighborhoods who could be playing on or near residential streets. We want everyone to be able to safely enjoy the fireworks!
- Use patience and be courteous with fellow motorists, a few seconds could save lives.
**Editor’s Note: America’s Road Team Captains are available for media interviews by calling Elisabeth Barna at 202-420-8972.