Top truckers offer winter safety tips

Dec. 30, 2011
America's Road Team Captains, professional truck drivers chosen by the American Trucking Assns. for their exemplary safety records

America’s Road Team Captains, professional truck drivers chosen by the American Trucking Assns. for their exemplary safety records, are offering advice on how to drive through extreme weather conditions to arrive at your destination safely.

These tips are useful reminders whether you’re navigating a vehicle with four or eighteen wheels.

• Avoid extreme weather conditions: Ice, hail, and snow make roads difficult to travel. Try to avoid driving through extreme weather conditions, and if you must, travel during daylight.
• 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. Don’t allow ice and snow to create additional blind spots on your vehicle.
• Be aware of the vehicle in front of you: Leave extra room between you and the vehicle in front so you can avoid snow and ice blowing onto your windshield or maneuver around patches of ice.
• Prepare an emergency kit: Contents should include a battery-powered radio, flashlight, blanket, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, maps, tire repair kit, and flares.
• Slow down: When highways are hit with wintry conditions, speeding becomes even more dangerous. Allow a big space cushion and reduce your speed.
• Buckle up: Safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% and are a simple way to increase your safety on the road.
• Be aware of truck blind spots: When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of their blind spots. 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.

“Snow and ice can make highway travel challenging,” said America’s Road Team Captain Brooks Washburn, a professional driver for FedEx Freight with more than 3.2 million accident-free miles. “Remember to buckle up, stay alert, and drive slowly to help make the roads safe for you and your fellow motorists. And if you don’t need to be on the road, stay home and wait for better conditions.”

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