Each year, millions of drivers hit the road for summer travel. According to the US-based National Safety Council (NSC), in the US alone, more Americans are at risk for fatal automobile injuries than ever before, making safety critical, particularly at peak travel times. This 2018, in fact, the NSC estimates that 420 Americans may be killed and more than 40,000 may be seriously injured in car crashes over Labor Day weekend alone.
In a dedicated effort to help reverse this trend, Volvo Trucks has pulled together key safety tips for drivers.
Some safety tips that drivers should keep in mind any time they are on the road include:
- Be aware of the vehicle in front of you and give them plenty of space.
- Slow down and don’t exceed the speed of surrounding traffic.
- Do not cut in front of large trucks! Big trucks take much longer to stop than smaller automobiles. Fully-loaded tractor trailers can take more than 100 yards to make a complete stop. Give them enough space so they can brake to a complete stop.
- Buckle your safety belt; this important safety device won’t prevent a crash but it can save a life.
- Keep your eyes on the road! Avoid distracted driving; put your cell phone away while operating your vehicle.
- Prepare yourself and your vehicle for long-distance travel. Before you hit the road, ensure vehicle maintenance is up-to-date and that you are well-rested, fed and hydrated. Also make sure you have a few safety supplies in the car: water, snack, blanket, and flashlight may come in handy if you experience a breakdown along the way.
- Avoid impaired drivers. Report any intoxicated drivers by calling 911, and pull over to the side of the road to avoid a dangerous driving situation.
- Take note of the blind spots of large trucks: if you can’t see the driver, the driver can’t see you. For your safety, pass trucks only on their left side; this gives the driver the greatest chance to see you.
- Be flexible. If weather conditions are dangerous or the forecast doesn’t look good, try shifting your plans to drive another day if possible.