Now that we are well into the summer driving season (hope everyone had a great 4th of July) it is worth revisiting some driving tips shared for the Memorial Day holiday for the motoring public provided courtesy of the American Trucking Association. Some of these tips specifically address being on the road with commercial fleet vehicles, since users of vehicle routing software are core customer base, we felt these were highly useful.
While drivers in personal vehicles think of the potential dangers commercial vehicles pose, please remember that these commercial drivers are at risk from personal vehicles in certain ways as well. Their safety is just as important to their families and employers.
The bottom line is whether you are driving a personal or commercial vehicle that is part of a delivery fleet, please refresh your memory with these tips and drive safely, defensively and courteously this summer.
• Perform a pre-trip inspection – Check your tire pressure, wipers and fluids. Simple maintenance can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists on the side of the road before you leave your home.
• Plan your trip – Know where you are going and be prepared to exit. Indecisive driving is a major cause of traffic problems.
• Large Trucks Have Blindspots – If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can’t see you.
• Do not cut in front of large trucks – Remember that trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them. A fully loaded tractor trailer takes the length of football field to come to a complete stop when driving at highway speeds.
• Pay Attention – Distracted driving is a leading cause of crashes. Looking away for even two seconds doubles the chances of an accident. Turn cell phones and PDAs off.
• Allow a Safety Cushion – Look 1/4 mile ahead for a safe path. Leave yourself an out.
• Slow Down – Chances of a crash nearly triples when driving faster than surrounding traffic. Driving fast is also linked to increased fuel usage and more trips to the pump! We wrote about 7 Tips to Keep Fuel Costs Down a few months back; another great read for this travel heavy time of year.
• Keep extra water in your vehicle – Just as you keep a winter driving kit in your vehicle, it is important to be prepared when driving during the summer months. Keep plenty of extra water, sunscreen and non-perishable snacks in your car in case you are stranded.
• Buckle Up – Safety belts are not a fashion statement – they save lives.
• Abide by Traffic Rules – Follow traffic signs and signals – paying special attention to work zones.
• Be Careful Backing Up – One in four preventable collisions involve backing up. Be sure to look before backing up; walk around your car prior to departure.
Check out the entire article from the ATA here.