AAA projects 115.2 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the 10-day year-end holiday travel period. This year’s total number of domestic travelers is a 2.2% increase over last year and the second highest year-end travel forecast since 2000, when AAA began tracking holiday travel.
The American Trucking Associations and professional drivers from ATA’s Share the Road highway safety program encourage these drivers to practice safety as they hit the road for the holidays.
“Make sure everyone can enjoy the holidays this season by putting safety first when traveling,” says Bob Bramwell of ABF Freight System, Inc. “As a professional truck driver, I am one of the last drivers on the road, delivering everything necessary to make the holidays shine bright.”
Snow and ice pose unique challenges for drivers. Being acutely aware of the weather conditions and forecast can prevent unexpected circumstances and make for a safer trip. Be sure to practice caution, even when traveling at low speeds on the road.
“Inclement weather conditions on the road create driving hazards that require extra caution when traveling during the holidays,” said ATA Share the Road professional truck driver Darrien Henderson of J&M Tank Lines Inc. “That is why it is important to follow the safety guidelines to ensure you make it safely to your holiday destination.”
- Buckle Up: Safety belts save lives. Day or night, and even if you are riding in the back seat – wear your safety belt.
- Remove ice and snow from your vehicle: Clear your windows and roof of snow to ensure you have maximum visibility and avoid creating a hazard for the vehicle behind you. Do not allow ice and snow to create additional blind spots on your vehicle.
- Slow Down: Chance of a crash nearly triples when driving faster than surrounding traffic. Icy conditions can make the roads slippery, slowing down your vehicle will help you avoid losing control.
- Do not drive impaired: There is much to celebrate this time of year during the holiday season. With that said, driving is a great responsibility, and your fellow travelers are relying on safe and attentive drivers to respectfully share the road and make good decisions.
- Be aware of truck blind spots: When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of their blind spots. If you cannot see the professional truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the professional truck driver cannot see you.
- Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents, especially among young drivers. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident. Never text while driving.
- Do not cut in front of large trucks: Remember trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
- Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel: Check your wipers and fluids. Have your radiator and cooling system serviced. Simple maintenance before you leave your home can prevent many of the problems that might strand motorists on the side of the road.
- Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early so you will not be anxious about arriving late. 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.
- Understand congestion patterns: High traffic volumes lead to greater opportunities for accidents, so plan your trip to avoid traffic bottlenecks and increased traffic volumes.
As 2023 comes to a close, drivers can expect to pay about the same or less for a gallon of gas than they did last holiday season, when the national average on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day was $3.10 and $3.20 respectively.
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