The holiday season is here. We want our drivers to be safe and return home for the holidays. During this time of year, there are extra drivers on the road and many distracted drivers. We have compiled a few helpful suggestions to help you return home safe with your family for the holidays.
1. Buckle Up
Take the extra minute or two and buckle up for safety. A seatbelt can save your life even though it has no control over collision prevention.
2. Use Defensive Driving Principles
Defensive driving practices save time, money, and lives. These skills are not dependent on the choices of other drivers around you. Below are crucial defensive driving practices that can save your life.
- Slow down and leave yourself room to get out a bad situation.
- Pass on the left and stay out of blind spots.
- Keep to the right on roadways and highways.
- Enter curves slowly.
- Slow down in work zones.
- Reduce your speed before entering roadway ramps.
These simple defensive driving tips can help bring you home safe. Then you can rest and enjoy your truck driver holidays.
3. Be Aware of the Weather
Many parts of the United States experience inclement weather during the holiday season. If your load takes you to those parts of the United States, be sure to keep a close look at the weather. Try to plan your route and downtime so that you can miss the bad weather and an increased potential for an unwanted accident.
4. Remove Snow and Ice from your Big Rig
Sometimes drivers can become complacent about the mounting snow and ice collecting on the truck. Please be sure to clear your windows so that you have the best visibility possible. Please also clear your roof of snow to avoid creating hazardous conditions for other drivers on the roadways. The accumulation of snow and ice can also create blinds spots as you are driving your big rig down the road. Please stop and clear the snow and ice to reduce blind spots and increase visibility.
5. Beware of Impaired Driving
Please, do not drive impaired. You have a big responsibility, and we need you to keep hauling precious cargo across the interstates of America. We rely on you to keep America going strong.
It is also vital to avoid and report impaired drivers. If you suspect a driver is impaired, please let the other commercial drivers on the road know as well as the police. You can be the extra set of eyes to keep America safe this holiday season.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), most fatal crashes due to alcohol occur between Midnight to 3 a.m. The states with the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities reported in 2017.
- Washington D.C.
- Rhode Island
- North Dakota
The alcohol-related fatalities in those states were higher than 36%. If your load takes you trucking through those high-risk areas, please be alert, try to take a rest during the peak risk hours. If a fellow driver is exhibiting signs of intoxication, such as swerving, driving super slow, riding the centerline, or erratic speed changes of slow to fast, report your observations to the police and fellow drivers.
6. Refrain from Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is becoming more deadly than drunk driving. According to NHTSA, in 2017, 3,166 lives were lost to distracted driving. Distracted driving includes texting, talking on the phone, inputting information in your entertainment or navigation system, eating, drinking, as well as mental or physical fatigue. Any activity or condition that takes your attention or concentration from the road. The NHTSA reports that “texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.”
Please help keep America safe and keep alert with your eyes on the road this holiday season. If you are tired, take a rest. If you are missing your family and friends, stop and give them a call. Focus on finishing hauling the load, and you will soon enjoy your time during your truck driver holidays.
7. Give Attention to Big Rig Winter Maintenance
It is easy to forget about that flapping windshield wiper blade until you turn on the wipers in a snowstorm. Or forget about the window washing fluid until you need it, and there is none. Here is a small list of essential maintenance checks.
- Windshield wiper fluid
- Brake fluid
- Windshield wiper blades
- Coolant level
- Running lights
- Turn signals
- Tire pressure
- First Aid Kit
- Bottle of deicing solution
Please make sure these little everyday maintenance items get checked and replaced as needed. This small maintenance checklist can save a lot of frustration, the potential of distracted driving, and help you to arrive home safely.
8. Bring Along Comfort Food and Make Use of Technology
This time of year, comfort food is at the forefront of the American mind. Bring yourself a piece of pumpkin or sweet potato pie. What is your favorite food this time of year? Make a list and put your favorite foods in your lunch box.
Each time you take a rest, call your family and friends and eat a piece of pumpkin pie together or another one of your favorite foods. Rest and watch some of the football games together on Skype, Facebook, Instagram, or other video applications. Technology today allows you to be miles apart but still together. Use technology to stay connected with your family and friends, not only this holiday season but all year long. These are a few tips for America’s truck drivers during this holiday season. Make sure that you schedule fun activities when you are home, so you don’t feel like you are missing out on family fun all the time. We want to thank you for the work you do and the sacrifices you make to keep America going. Please drive safe and report any possible drunk or distracted drivers. Enjoy your time on the road doing your job and providing well for your family. Keep in mind the vital role you play in the American economy and keep on trucking.