With an estimated 54.6 million people traveling to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this year, the American Trucking Associations and ATA’s Share the Road highway safety program provided safe driving tips in preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Given the high volume of travelers for Thanksgiving, it is important to implement safe driving measures so everyone can make it to the dinner table,” said Share the Road Professional Truck Driver Gina Jones of Werner Enterprises. “As a professional truck driver, I am delivering all the trimmings necessary for Thanksgiving. I hope my fellow motorists will consider these safe driving tips when traveling to their Thanksgiving destinations.”

Thanksgiving offers several other driving challenges beyond traffic congestion. Winter weather conditions present unique problems for motorists, including high wind and blowing snow, which contribute to reduced visibility in many regions throughout the country. Similarly, freezing temperatures can have a profound impact on vehicles and roadways. A thorough pre-trip inspection and understanding of driving conditions can play a significant role in driving success this holiday season.

“As a truck driver from Maine, I have been trained to deal with wintery road conditions,” said Share the Road Professional Truck Driver Ron Round of Pottle’s Transportation LLC. “It is important to make sure your vehicle is prepared for extended trips. Check your wiper fluids, antifreeze, and pack a few extra blankets before you start your travel in case of an emergency.”

Share the Road’s professional truck drivers promote these safety tips to motorists, students, members of the media, and elected officials throughout the country with the Share the Road program and through the Share the Road award-winning instructional video. They emphasize these safety tips to remind motorists of all ages about key elements of safe driving, especially for those operating small passenger vehicles near large tractor-trailers.

  • 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. Don’t 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, slow down to avoid losing control of your vehicle.
  • 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.

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. The safety program is sponsored by Mack Trucks, Inc., and supported by Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, Solera Omnitracs, Premier Trailer Leasing, PrePass Safety Alliance, Shell Lubricants, Travel Centers of America, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Great Dane Trailers, and Hendrickson International. www.atastr.org. Follow the Share the Road on Twitter and Facebook.