It’s that time of year again. Water gets warmer, drinks get colder, hair gets lighter, skin gets darker, music gets louder, nights get longer, and life just gets better. What are we referring to? Summertime, of course! While summer is fun for all, it’s also a time to bring attention to key safety issues.
Summertime brings with it vacations and travel, resulting in an increased number of vehicles on the road. Typically the summer season offers the best weather and driving conditions of the year – dry roads, better visibility, and longer daylight hours. But the seasonal benefits can be negated by other factors. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a higher volume of holiday travelers cause nearly twice the number of automotive deaths during summer months than during the rest of the year combined. The NHTSA also reports the most dangerous month, it turns out, is August, closely followed by September and June.
It’s important for truck drivers–and the general public–to be aware of safety issues and summer driving tips to help reduce risk of distracted driving and automotive accidents. With that being said, each June the National Safety Council celebrates National Safety Month. The 2014 National Safety Month theme, “Safety: It Takes All of Us,” was inspired by the idea of continuous risk reduction – a key pillar in the Journey to Safety Excellence. A successful safety program depends on spotting hazards early, evaluating their risk, and removing or controlling them before harm is done.
Safety has and always will be the highest priority at Prime Inc., and we are proud to support the National Safety Council. This June, we encourage you to join us and the Council raise awareness and help reduce risk of safety issues. Prime wants to engage our readers on this topic so we’ve put together a few summer safety driving tips:
1. Avoid distractions behind the wheel. This tip is of utmost importance. Smartphones and other electronic gadgets have certainly simplified many things in our daily lives, but they do not add to our safety when behind the wheel of a truck or other type of vehicle. If you must use your smartphone or another mobile device, pull off the side of the road to use your device before heading back out on the road.
2. Follow basic driving safety guidelines at all times. Whether you’re in a truck, tractor-trailer, or car, there are certain “safe driving” rules of the road that everyone should follow. These include buckling up your seatbelt, using your turn signals when necessary, allowing plenty of distance between yourself and the vehicles in front of you, knowing where your blind spots are, maintaining safe speeds, and paying attention to road signs that alert drivers to other laws and regulations. In particular, note bridge capacity signs and grade indicators during stormy summer weather. Following these rules will result in safer roads for all drivers.
3. Never drive when you are tired. It’s extremely important to have plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel. When you’re tired, your reaction times are slower and you may not pay as much attention to the vehicles around you. The new HOS rule for truck drivers is a great aid in ensuring drivers are getting rest between driving shifts. Make sure you are well-rested before beginning each leg of your journey so that you can reach your destination safely. Don’t forget Prime’s “Captain of the Ship” rule for all drivers. If you feel unsafe at all to drive, pull over to a safe spot and simply notify your Fleet Manager or Night Dispatcher. We would much rather you be safe than sorry. Your safety and life are much more important than a load.
4. Carry the tools you need to perform minor repairs or change tires. If in the unfortunate case of a breakdown or flat tire, it’s important to have access to the necessary tools to perform minor repairs. Keep on-hand tools you may need for routine repairs. Additionally, if you’re on a highway be sure to pull off the road as far as possible and turn on your flashers. This keeps you and other drivers safe if any repairs have to be made on the road. Remember, if possible, avoid pulling onto the shoulder of a road. Pulling onto the shoulder of the road can put you and other motorists in danger.
5. Spread the word. Remember the 2014 National Safety Month theme, “Safety: It Takes All of Us.” By encouraging others to practice these summer driving tips, you’re helping reduce risk on the road. A little effort today has the potential to prevent a tragedy tomorrow. Your influence will make a difference! Want to get involved? The National Safety Council has designed a variety of free resources to engage the public on safety throughout the month of June.
When you put these summer driving tips into play, your chance of reaching your destination safety is much greater. Since Prime puts safety first, we want our readers to do the same!
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