Labor Day Driving Trips from America's Road Team
The first step towards a safe trip
begins in the driveway.
"walk around" before leaving: Check
your vehicle's tires, wipers and fluids. Have your radiator
and cooling system serviced.
* Plan ahead:
Before you get on a highway, know your exit by name and number, and
watch the signs for the exit as you near it. Drivers making
unexpected lane changes to exit often cause accidents.
* Get a map or
program your GPS:
Surprisingly, few motorists use maps, even when driving through
unfamiliar areas. Knowing the road is essential for safe
driving -- it allows you to anticipate the road ahead and avoid a
panicky search for directions.
* Leave early and
avoid risks: Leave early so you won't be
anxious about arriving late and to accommodate delays. Know
your limitations: don't drive when tired, upset, or physically
ill. Never try to gain a few seconds by attempting a risky
* Be aware of
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.
* Expect the
unexpected: Look 1/4 mile ahead for a safe
path. Leave yourself an out.
* Use your cell phone
with caution: Pull off to a designated
parking area to use your cell phone.
* Signal your
intentions: To change lanes, signal ahead of
time so other drivers can respond. If a truck is signaling to
change lanes, allow it space to do so. Often, it is trying to
avoid another vehicle.
* 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.
On entrance ramps, remember highway traffic has the right of way;
maintain proper speed, use smooth merging techniques, and don't
slow down in front of a truck.
* Never stop on the
highway: The most dangerous speed on a
highway is zero. Stopped vehicles, even on the shoulder,
create a severe hazard for themselves and others. If you are
stopped for emergency purposes, understand that big trucks cannot
always stop to assist you, but most will use their radios to
contact the police or highway patrol if they see you are in
your gas gauge: To save fuel, take direct
routes, minimize side trips, and keep a steady speed.
Further, a well-tuned engine, properly inflated tires and reduced
speed will result in noticeable fuel savings. Have at least a
quarter of a tank of gas before you get on a highway. Traffic
tie-ups can use a lot of fuel -- and may leave you stranded.
* Construction zone:
Stay alert in work zones. Traffic
may move more slowly, and lanes may be
temporarily closed. Obeyinformational
signs located within the work zone.
The America's Road Team would like to remind the
motoring public that from driveway to highway, safety requires
patience and dedication.