Press Release

On July Fourth, Safety First

Jul 02, 2019

Arlington, Virginia – Today, American Trucking Associations and ATA’s Share the Road highway safety program are requesting that holiday travelers take extra precautions when driving this 4th of July.

“Independence Day is all about getting together with family and friends to celebrate our freedoms safely,” said ATA Chairman Barry Pottle, president and CEO of Pottle’s Transportation. “Practicing a few simple tips and planning your trip ahead of time 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.”

AAA expects highway travel to exceed 41.4 million people this Independence Day weekend. This record number of travelers means there will be more traffic and congestion on the highways than last year, making it even more important to drive with caution. AAA analysis suggests delays could increase by as much as 9 percent nationally.  

“With high volumes of traffic traveling further distances than usual on the highways this 4th of July, practicing safe driving is vital,” said Share the Road professional truck driver Gary Martin, of FedEx Ground. “Everybody deserves to be able to celebrate this holiday in safety, and by applying these simple safety tips, the motoring public can deliver a safe holiday for themselves and their neighbors on the road.”

“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 Share the Road professional truck driver Bill Hambrick, of Werner Enterprises. “We want people across America to have a great time with their family and friends this holiday, and using these tips from professional truck drivers can drastically increase highway safety for everyone.”

Share the Road truck drivers 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!

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, Mack Leasing, Bendix, PSI Tire Inflation.  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 FacebookTrucking Moves America Forward